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Which cannot go but thirty miles a day,
Host. By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words.
BARD. Be gone, good ancient : this will grow to a brawl anon.:
pins; Have we not Hiren here ?
Host. O’ my word, captain, there's none such
“ With bloom more bright than Erycina's brows;
STEEVENS. Mr. Todd has, with great probability, maintained that Spenser was the original. See his edition of Spenser, vol. iii. p. 22.
Johnson. Perhaps the character of a bully on the English stage might have been originally taken from Pistol; but Congreve seems to have copied his Nol Bluff more immediately from Jonson's Captain Bobadil. STEEVENS.
3 -- and let the welkin roar.] Part of the words of an old bal
Son doth Scatter with the Forke :
“ Let the welkin roare,
“ Ile never give ore,” &c. Again, in another ancient song, called The Man in the Moon drinks Claret :
" Drink wine till the welkin roares." Steevens. So, in Eastward Hoe, 1605; “-turn swaggering gallant, and let the welkin roar, and Erebus also." Malone.
4 Die men, like dogs ;] This expression I find in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611 :
“ Your lieutenant's an ass.
here. What the good-year! do you think, I would deny her ? for God's sake, be quiet.
Pist. Then, feed, and be fat, my fair Calipolis : Come, give's some sack.
3 — Have we not Hiren here?
Host. O' my word, captain, there's none such here.] i. e, shall I fear, that have this trusty and invincible sword by my side? For, as King Arthur's swords were called Caliburne and Ron; as Edward the Confessor's, Curtana; as Charlemagne's, Joyeuse ; Orlando's, Durindana ; Rinaldo's, Fusberta; and Rogero's, Balisarda; so Pistol, in imitation of these heroes, calls his sword Hiren. I have been told, Amadis de Gaul had a sword of this name. Hirir is to strike, and from hence it seems probable that Hiren may be derived ; and so signify a swashing, cutting sword. -But what wonderful humour is there in the good Hostess so innocently mistaking Pistol's drift, fancying that he meant to fight for a whore in the house, and therefore telling him, “O'my word, captain, there's none such here; what the good-year! do you think, I would deny her?” TheoeALD.
As it appears from a former note, that Hiren was sometimes a cant term for a mistress or harlot, Pistol may be supposed to give it on this occasion, as an endearing name, to his sword, in the same spirit of fondness that he presently calls it-sweetheart.
Steevens. I see no ground for supposing that the words bear a different meaning here from what they did in a former passage. He is still, I think, merely quoting the same play he had quoted before,
MALONE. "~ Have we not Hiren here?”. I know not whence Shakspeare derived this allusion to Arthur's lance, "Accinctus etiam Caliburno gladio optimo, lancea nomine iron, dexteram suam decoravit.” M. Westmonasteriensis, p. 98. BowlE. Geoffery of Monmouth, p. 65, reads Ron instead of Iron.
Steevens. feed, and be fat, my fair CALIPOLIS :] This is a burlesque on a line in an old play called The Battel of Alcazar, &c. printed in 1594, in which Muley Mahomet enters to his wife with lion's flesh on his sword :
“Feed then, and faint not, my faire Calypolis." And again, in the same play:
“Hold thee Calipolis ; feed, and faint no more."
" Feed and be fat, that we may meet the foe,
Si fortuna me tormenta, sperato me contenta?
Laying down his sword.
nothing ? Fal. Pistol, I would be quiet.
Pist. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neifo: What! we have seen the seven stars,
The line is quoted in several of the old plays; and Decker, in his Satiromastix, 1602, has introduced Shakspeare's burlesque of it : “ Feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis : stir not my beauteous wriggle-tails.” STEEVENS
It is likewise quoted by Marston, in his What You Will, 1607, as it stands in Shakspeare. Malone.
7 Si fortuna me tormenta, sperato me contenta.] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads :
Si fortuna me tormenta, il sperare me contentaWhich is undoubtedly the true reading ; but perhaps it was intended that Pistol should corrupt it. Johnson.
yielding himself a prisoner, as you may read in an old collection of tales, called Wits, Fits, and Fancies:
Si fortuna me tormenta,
Il speranza me contenta. And Sir Richard Hawkins, in his Voyage to the South-Sea, 1593, throws out the same gingling distich on the loss of his pinnace. FARMER.
8 Come we to full points here ; &c.] That is, shall we stop here, shall we have no further entertainment ? JOANSON.
9 Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif:] i. e. kiss thy fist. Mr. Pope will have it, that neif here is from nativa ; i. e. a womanslave that is born in one's house; and that Pistol would kiss Falstaff's domestick mistress, Doll Tear-sheet. TheoBALD.
Nief, neif, and naif, are certainly law-terms for a woman-slave.
Me famulam famuloque Heleno transmisit habendam.
Dor. Thrust him down stairs ; I cannot endure such a fustian rascal.
Pist. Thrust him down stairs! know we not Galloway nags"?
FAL. Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a shovegroat shilling? : nay, if he do nothing but speak nothing, he shall be nothing here.
ployed in that sense in the northern counties, and by Ben Jonson,
“ Reach me thy neif.”
“ Oh, sweet ningle, thy neif once again.” STEEVENS. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : “Give me thy neif, Monsieur Mustard-Seed." Malone.
I Galloway nags?] That is, common hacknies. Johnson. · ? like a skOVE-GROAT shilling :) This expression occurs in Every Man in his Humour : " made it run as smooth off the tongue as a shove-groat shilling." Again, in Humour's Ordinary, by Samuel Rowlands, Satire iv. :
“At shove-groat, venter-point, or crosse and pile.” I suppose it to have been a piece of polished metal made use of in the play of shovel-board. See vol. iv. p. 21, n. 2. STEEVENS.
Mr. Steevens supposes the shove-groat shilling to have been used in the game of shovel-board, by which he seems to infer that the games of shove-groat and shovel-board were the same; but this is apparently a mistake. The former was invented during the reign of Henry the Eighth; for in the statutes of his 33d year, chap. ix. it is called a new game. It was also known by the several appellations of slide-groat, slide-board, slide-thrift, and slipthrift, the first of which was probably adopted from the game being originally played with the silver groats of the time, then nearly as large as modern shillings. When the broad shillings of Edward the Sixth were coined, they were substituted for the groats in this game, and used also at that of shovel-board, which seems to have been only a variation of the other on a larger scale. Nothing has occurred to carry it beyond the time of Henry the Eighth ; and from the want of such a term as a shovel-groat, it is probably not older than the reign of Edward the Sixth, who first coined the shilling piece. Shovel-board is already too well known to require any description of it in this place; but of the other little seems recorded, or not sufficient to discover the manner in 'which it was played. Holinshed, or rather Stanihurst, in his History of Ireland, speaking of a mandate for the execution of the Earl of kildare in the reign of Henry the Eighth, says, that “ one night when
BARD. Come, get you down stairs.
Snatching up his sword. Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful
. days! Why then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds Untwine the sisters three ! Come, Atropos, I say*!
the lieutenant and he for their disport were playing at slidegrote or shofleboorde, sodainly commeth from the Cardinall (Wolsey) a mandatum to execute Kyldare on the morrow. The earle marking the lieutenant's deepe sigh, By S. Bryde, Lieutenant, quoth he, there is some made game in that scrole; but fall how it will, this throwe is for a huddle." Here the writer has either confounded the two games, or might only mean to state that the Earl was playing at one or the other of them. Rice the puritan, in his Inyective Againt Vices, black letter, no date, 12mo. speaks of “paysed [weighed) groates to plaie at slip-thrifte;” and in another place he asks whether God sent Adam into Paradise to play at it. There is a modern game called Justice, Jervis which is supposed by Mr. Strutt, who has described it at large, to bear some resemblance to shove-groat. See his Sports and Pastimes, p. 225. Douce.
Slide-thrift, or shove-groat, is one of the games prohibited by statute 33 Henry VIII. c. 9. BLACKSTONE.
3 Then death rock me asleep, ] This is a fragment of an ancient song supposed to have been written by Anne Boleyn :
“O death rock me on slepe,
“ Bring me on quiet rest,” &c. For the entire song, see Sir John Hawkin's General History of Musick, vol. iii. p. 31. Steevens.
In Arnold Cosbie's Ultimum Vale to the Vaine World, an elegie written by himselfe in the Marshalsea, after his condemnation, for murthering Lord Brooke, 4to. 1591, are these lines :
"O death, rock me asleepe! Father of heaven,
“ Forgive the faults and follies of my youth.” Reed. 4- Come, ATROPOS, I say!] It has been suggested that this is a name which Pistol gives to his sword; but surely he means nothing more than to call on one of the sisters three to aid him in the frav. Malone.
Perhaps Pistol alludes to a poem printed in A Gorgious Gallery of Gallant Inuentions, &c. 4to. 1578 : “ The Louer complayneth of his Ladie's Inconstancy," to the tune of I lothe that I did loue :'