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Enter another Carrier. 2. Car. Pease and beans are as dank 2 here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots :: this house is turn'd upside down, fince Robin oftler dy'd.
1. Car. Poor fellow! never joy'd fince the price of cats role ; it was the death of him.
2. Car. I think, this be the most villainous house in all London road for fleas : I am ftung like a tench 4.
1. Car. Like a tench? by the mass, there is ne'er a king in Christendom could be better bit than I have been fince the first cock.
2 Car. Why; they will allow us ne'er a jorden, and then we leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach s.
i Car. - as dark] i. e. wet, rotten. Pope.
bots :] are worms in the stomach of a horse. JOHNSON. A bat: ligbe upon you, is an imprecation frequently repeated in the anonymous play of K. Henry V. as well as in many other old pieces.
STEEVENS. + I am ftung like a tench.] Why like a tencb? I know not, unless the fimilitude consists in the spots of the tencb, and those made by the bite of vermin. MALONE.
5 - breeds feas, like a loach.] The loach is a very small filh, but lo exceedingly prolifick that it is seldom found without spawn in it; and it was formerly a practice of the young gallants to swallow loaches in wine, because they were considered as invigorating, and as apt to communicate their prolifick quality. The carrier therefore means to say that “ your chamber-lie breeds fleas as fast as a loach” breeds, not fieas, but loaches.
In As you like it, Jaques says that he “ can suck melancholy out of a long, as a weasel fucks eggs;" but he does not mean that a weasel sucks EESS “s out of a song."-And in Troilus and Creffida, where Neftor sayo that Therfites is
« A lave whose gall coins Nanders like a mint,” ke means, that his gall coined Nanders as fast as a mint coins money.
MASON. I entirely agree with Mr. Mason in his explanation of this passage, and, before I had seen his COMMENTS, had in the same manner interpreted a passage in As you like it. See Vol. III. p. 168, n. 2. One principal source of errour in the interpretation of many passages in our author's plays has been the supposing that his fimiles were intended to correspond exa&tly on both sides.
The author, however, of Remarks &c. on the text and notes of the
1. Car. What, oftler! come away, and be hang'd, come away.
2. Car. I have a gammon of bacon, and two razes of ginger", to be deliver'd as far as Charing-crofs.
1. Car. 'Odsbody! the turkies in my pannier are quite starved?.-What, oftler !-A plague on thee! haft thou never an eye in thy head ? canft not hear? An 'twere not as good a deed as drink, to break the pate of thee, I am a very villain.-Come, and be hang'd :-Haft no faith in thee?
1. Car. I think it be two o'clock”. loft edition of Sbakspeare, very gravely afures Mr. Steevens, “ that in the course of his extensive researches he may one day find that a loach either bas or was formerly supposed to have, when dead, the quality of producing fleas in abundance !!" MALONE.
2 - and two razes of ginger,] A race of ginger fignifies no more than a single root of it; but a roze is the Indian term for a bale of it.
THEOBALD. - and two razes of ginger, ] So, in the old anonymous play of Henry V :“-he hath taken the great raze of ginger, that bouncing Bess, &c. was to have had.” A dainty race of ginger is mentioned in Ben Jonson's masque of the Giplies Metamorphosed." STEEVENS.
Dr. Grew speaks, in the Pbilosopbical Transactions, of a single rset of ginger weighing fourteen ounces, as uncommonly large. I doubt there. fore concerning the truth of Mr. Warner's allertion, (in support of which he quotes Sir Hans Sloane's Introduction to his Hift. of Famalia, that “ a single root or race of ginger, were it brought home entire, as it might formerly have been, and not in small pieces, as at present, would have been sufficient to load a pack-horse." Theobald's explanation seems equally disputable. MALONE.
7 — the turkies in my pannier are quite fiarved.] Here is a night anachronism. Turkies were not brought into England till the time of King Henry VIII. MALONE.
- Gads.bill.] This thief receives his title from a place on the Kentish road, where many robberies have been committed. So, in the anonymous play of the Famous Vittories of Henry V : “ And I know thee for a taking fellow upon Gads-bill in Kent." In the year 1558 a ballad entitled “ The Robery at Gais-hill,” was entered on the books of the Stationers' company. STEEVENS.
9 I think ie beiwo o'clock.] The carrier, who suspected Gads-hill, ftrives to milead him as to the hour ; because the firit obiervation made in this scene is, that it was four o'clock. STELVIN S.
Gads. I pr'ythee, lend me thy lantern, to see my geld. ing in the stable.
1. Car. Nay, soft, I pray ye; I know a trick worth two of that, i' faith.
Gads. I pr’ythee, lend me thine.
2. Car. Ay, when, canst tell?--Lend me thy lantern, quoth-a ?-marry, I'll see thee hang'd first.
Gads. Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?
2. Car. Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant thee.-Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll call up the gentlemen ; they will along with company, for they have great charge.
[Exeunt Carriers, Gads. What, ho! chamberlain ! Cham. [within.] At hand, quoth pick-purse'.
Gads. That's even as fair as-at hand, quoth the chamberlain : for thou varieft no more from picking of purses, than giving direction doth from labouring ; thou lay'ft the plot how
Enter Chamberlain. Cham. Good morrow, master Gads-hill. It holds current, that I told you yesternight: There's a franklin
At bard, quoti pick-purse,] This is a proverbial expression often used by Green, Nashe, and other writers of the time, in whose works the cant of low conversation is preserved. STEEVENS.
This proverbial saying probably arose from the pick-purse always feifing upon the prey nearest to him: his maxim being that of Pope's man of gallantry, -" The thing ar band is of all things the best.” MALONE.
That's even as fair as-ai band, quotb the chamberlain : &c.] So, in :be Life and Dearb of Gamaliel Railiy, 1605: - he dealt with the ebamberlaine of the house to learn which way they rode in the morning, which the cbamberlaine performed accordingly, and that with great care and diligence, for he knew he should partake of their fortunes, if he fred." STEEVENS.
2 – franklin-] is a little gentleman. JOHNSON.
Ds. sobnion has said more accurately, in a note on Cymbeline, that a franklin is a freebolder. MALONE.
“ Forcescue," says the editor of the Canterbury Tales, Vol. IV. p. 202, « (de L. L. Ang. c. xxix.) describes a franklain to be pater familistsagnis ditarus pollicnibus. He is clailed with (but after) the miles and armiger, and is distinguished from the libere tenentes and valetti, though, as it ihould seem, the only distinction between him and other treeholders confisted in the largeness of his eitate." REED.
in the wild of Kent, hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold: I heard him tell it to one of his company, last night at fupper; a kind of auditor ; one that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter 3 : They will away pretently.
Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with faint Nicholas' clerks 4, I'll give thee this neck.
Cham. No, I'll none of it: I pry'thee, keep that for the hangman; for, I know, thou worship’st saint Nicholas as truly as a man of fallhood may.
Gads. What talk'st thou to me of the hangman? if I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows: for, if I hang, old fir John hangs with me; and, thou know'st, he's no ftarveling. Tut! there are other Trojans s that thou dream'st not of, the which, for sport sake, are content to do the profession some grace ; that would, if matters should be look'd into, for their own credit sake, make all whole. I am join'd with no foot land-rakers', no long
and call for eggs and butter :] It appears from the Household Book of the Fifth Earl of Nortbumberland, that butter'd eggs was the usual breakfast of my lord and lady, during the season of Lent. STEEV.
4 -saint Nicbolas' clerks,–] St. Nicholas was the patron saint of scholars; and Nicholas, or Old Nick, is a cant name for the devil. Hence he equivocally calls robbers, St. Nicbolas' clerks. WARBURTON.
So in Rowley's Match at Midnight, 1633: “ I think yonler come prancing down the hills from Kingston, a couple of Saint Nicbolas's clerks.” Again in the Hollander, a comedy by Glapthorne, 1640 :-" to wit, dicer's books, and St. Nicbolas's clerks." STEEVENS.
See Vol. I. p. 153, n. 8. where an account is given of the origin of this expression as applied to scholars. Mr. Whalley thinks it took its rise from the parish clerks of London, who were incorporated into a fraternity or guild, with St. Nicholas for their patron. Dr. W's account of the application of the term to robbers, is undoubted'y just. MALONE.
5 - Other Trojans] So, in Love's Labour's Loft: “ Hector was but a Trojan in respect of this.” Trojan in both these instances had a cant fignification, and perhaps was only a more creditable term for a thief. So again, in Love's Labour's Left: “ —unless you play the boneft Trojan, the poor wench is cast
away." STEEVENS. o I am join'd with no fose land-rakers, &c.] That is, with no padders, no wanderers on foot. No long-staff fix-penny ftrikers,-no fellows that infest the road with long staffs and knock men down for fix-pence. None of tbese mad, mustachio, purple-bued malt-worms,-none of those whose faces are red with drinking ale. JOHNSON.
Kaff, fix-penny ftrikers?; none of these mad, mustachio, purple-hued malt-worms 8 : but with nobility, and tranquillity; burgomasters, and great oneyers'; such as can
hold 7-ixpenny strikers ;] A Ariker had some cant fignification with which at present we are not exactly acquainted. It is used in several of the old plays. So in an old Ms. play entitled A second Maiden's Tragedy:
« one that robs the mind,
“ Twenty times worse than any highway.Ariker." STEVENS. In Greene's Art of Ceneycarcbing, 1592, under the table of Cant Expressions used by Thieves, “ the cutting a pocket or picking a purse," is called Atriking. COLLINS.
See also the London Prodigal, 1605: “ Nay, now I have had such a fortunate beginning, I'll not let a fixpenny-purse escape me.” MALONE.
8 - malt-worms: ] This cant term for a tippler I find in Tbe life and death of Jack Strawe, 1593, and in Gammer Gurton's Needle. STEEV.
9 - burgomasters, and great oneyors ;] The reading which I have Substituted Imoneyers] I owe to the friend thip of the ingenious Nicholas Hardinge Erg. A moneyer is an officer of the mint, who makes coin, and delivers out the king's money. Moneyers are also taken for bankers, or those that make it their trade to turn and return money. Either of these acceptations will admirably square with our author's context. THEOBALD.
This is a very acute and judicious attempt at emendation, and is not undeservedly adopted by Dr. Warburton. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads great owners, not without equal or greater likelihood of truth. I know not however whether any change is neceffary: Gads-hill tells the Chamberlain that he is joined with no mean wretches, but with burgomasters and great ones, or, as he terms them in merriment by a cant termination, great oneyers, or great one-éers, as we say, privateer, aucsioneer, circuireer. This is, I fancy, the whole of the matter. Johnson.
Perhaps Shakspeare wrotem nyers, that is, publick accountants; men possessed of large sums of money belonging to the state. - It is the course of the Court of Exchequer, when the iheriff makes up his accounts for issues, amerciaments, and mesne profits, to set upon his head o. ni. which denotes onerarur, nisi babeat fufficientem exonerationem : he thereupon becomes the king's debtor, and the parties peravaile (as they are termed in law) for whom he answers, become his debtors, and are dir. charged as with respect to the king.
To settle accounts in this manner, is still called in the Exchequer, to ony; and from hence Shakspeare perhaps formed the word ongers. -The Chamberlain had a little before mentioned, among the travellers whom he thought worth plundering, an officer of the Exchequer, « a kind of auditor, one that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what.” This emendation may derive some support from what Gads-hill says in the next scene : “ There's money of the king's