« AnteriorContinuar »
And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.
am so little skilled in hunting, that I can hardly tell whether a bitch be a bitch or not; my judgment goes no further, than just to direct me to call either dog or bitch by their general nameHound.” I am aware that Spelman acquaints his reader, that brache was used in his days for a lurcher, and that Shakspeare himself has made it a dog of a particular species:
“Mastiff, greyhound, mungrill grim,
“ Pound or spaniel, brach or lym.” K. Lear, Act III, sc. v. But it is manifest from the passage of More, just cited, that it was sometimes applied in a general sense, and may therefore be so understood in the passage before us; and it may be added, that brache appears to be used in the same sense by Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ A. Is that your brother?
Scornful Lady, Act I, sc.i. T. Warton. I believe brach Merriman means only Merriman the brach. So, in the old song:
“Gow Grumbock is a very good cow." Brach, however, appears to have been a particular sort of hound. In an old metrical charter, granted by Edward the confessor to the hundred of Cholmer and Dancing, in Essex, there are the two following lines:
“Four greyhounds & six Bratches,
“ For hare, fox, and wild cattes." Merriman surely could not be designed for the name of a female of the canine species. Steevens.
It seems from the commentary of Ulitius upon Gratius, from Caius de Canibus Britannicis, from bracco, in Spelman's Glossary, and from Markham's Country Contentments, that brache originally meant a bitch. Ulitius, p. 163, observes, that bitches have a superior sagacity of nose:-“fæminis (canibus] sagacitatis plurimum inesse, usus docuit;” and hence, perhaps, any hound with emi. nent quickness of scent, whether dog or bitch, was called brache, for the term brache is sometimes applied to males. Our ancestors hunted much with the large southern hounds, and had in every pack a couple of dogs peculiarly good and cunning to find game, or recover the scent, as Markham informs us. To this custom Shakspeare seems here to allude, by naming two braches, which, in my opinion, are beagles; and this discriminates brach, from the lym, a blood-hound mentioned together with it, in the tragedy of King Lear. In the following quotation offered by Mr. Steevens on another occasion, the brache hunts truly by the scent, behind the doe, while the hounds are on every side:
“For as the dogs pursue the silly doe,
Phaer's Legend of Owen Glendower. Tollet. Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good1
The word is certainly used by Chapman in his Gentleman Usher, a comedy, 1606, as synonymous to bitch: “ Venus your brach there, runs so proud,” &c. So, also, our author in King Henry IV, P.I: “I'd rather hear Lady, my brach, howl in Irish.” The structure of the passage before us, and the manner in which the next line is connected with this, [ And couple &c.] added to the circumstance of the word brach occurring in the end of that line, incline me to think that Brach is here a corruption, and that the line before us began with a verb, not a noun. Malone.
Sir Thomas Hanmer reads-Leech Merriman; that is, apply some remedies to Merriman, the poor cur has his joints swelled.Perhaps we might read-bathe Merriman, which is, I believe, the common practice of huntsmen; but the present reading may stand. Fohnson.
Emboss'd is a hunting term. When a deer is hard run, and foams at the mouth, he is said to be emboss'd. A dog also when he is strained with hard running (especially upon hard ground) will have his knees swelled, and then he is said to be embosa'd: from the French word bosse, which signifies a tumour. This explanation of the word will receive illustration from the following passage in the old comedy, entitled The Shoemakers Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, acted at court, and printed in the year 1600, signat. C:
Beate every brake, the game's not farre,
Affirming him so emboss'd.” T. Warton.
“ Pet. There was a boy leashed on the single, because when he was imbossed he took soyle.
" Li. What's that?
“ Pet. Why a boy was beaten on the tayle with a leathern thong, because, when he fom’de at the mouth with running, he went into the water." Again, in Chapman's version of the fourth Iliad:
like hinds that have no hearts, “ Who, wearied with a long-run field, are instantly embost,
“ Stand still,” &c.-- Steevens. From the Spanish, des embocar, to cast out of the mouth. We have again the same expression in Antony and Cleopatra : :
the boar of Thessaly “ Was never so emboss'd.” Malone. Can any thing be more evident than that imboss'd means swelled in the knees, and that we ought to read bathe? What has the imbossing of a deer to do with that of a hound? « Imbossed sores” occur in As you Like it, and in The First Part of King Henry IV, the Prince calls Falstaff" imboss'd rascal.” Ritson.
At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault?
| Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
| Hun. I will, my lord.
he breathe? 2 Hun. He breathes, my lord: Were he not warm'd
with ale, This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies! Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.What think you, if he were convey'd to bed, Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, A most delicious banquet by his bed, And brave attendants near him when he wakes, Would not the beggar then forget himself?
1 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose. 2 Hun. It would seem strange unto him when he
wak'd. Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless fancy. Then take him up, and manage well the jest:Carry him gently to my fairest chamber, And hang it round with all my wanton pictures: Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters, And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet: Procure me musick ready when he wakes, To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound; And if he chance to speak, be ready straight, And, with a low submissive reverence,
1how Silver made it good-] This, I suppose, is a technical term. It occurs likewise in the 23 song of Drayton's Polyolbion : “What's offered by the first, the other good doth make.”
Say,—What is it your honour will command?
1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you, we 'll play our part, As he shall think, by our true diligence, He is no less than what we say he is.
Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him; And each one to his office, when he wakes.
[ Some bear out Sly. A trumpet sounds.
2 And, when he says he is -, say, that he dreams,
For he is nothing but a mighty lord.] I rather think, (with Sir Thomas Hanmer) that Shakspeare wrote:
And when he says he's poor, say that he dreams.
And when he says he's Sly, say that he dreams.
Fohnson. This is hardly right; for how should the Lord know the beggar's name to be Sly? Steevens.
Perhaps the sentence is left imperfect, because he did not know by what name to call him. Blackstone.
I have no doubt that the blank was intended by the author. It is observable that the metre of the line is perfect, without any supplemental word. In The Tempest a similar blank is found, which Shakspeare there also certainly intended :-" I should know that voice; it should be ; but he is drowned, and these are devils." Malone. 3 This do, and do it kindly,] Kindly, means naturally.
M. Mason. modesty.] By 'modesty is meant moderation, without sufring our merriment to break into an excess. Johnson.
Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
[Erit Serv. Belike some noble gentleman, that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
Re-enter a Servant.
An it please your honour,
Now, fellows, you are welcome. 1 Play. We thank your honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our duty.6
Lord. With all my heart.-This fellow I remember, Since once he play'd a farnier's eldest son ;'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well: I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform’d.
| Play. I think, 'twas Soto7 that your honour means.
3 Enter players.] The old play already quoted reads:
“ Enter two of the plaiers with packs at their backs, and a boy. “Now, sirs, what store of plaies have you?
“ San. Marry my lord you may have a tragicall, "Or a commoditie, or what you will.
“ The other. A comedie thou shouldst say, souns thou 'lt shame “ Lord. And what's the name of your comedie? “San. Marrie my lord, 'tis calle The Taming of a Shrew: “'Tis a good lesson for us my L. for us that are married men,” &c.
Steevens. 6 — to accept our duty.] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great honses. Johnson.
In the fifth Earl of Northumberland's Household Book, (with a copy of which I was honoured by the late duchess) the following article occurs. The book was begun in the year 1512:
“ Rewards to Playars. "Item, to be payd to the said Richard Gowge and Thomas Percy for rewards to players for playes playd in Chrystinmas by stranegers in my house after xxd. every play by estimacion somme xxxiijs. iiijd. Which ys apoynted to be paid to the said Richard Gowge and Thomas Percy at the said Christynmas in full contentacion of the said rewardys xxxiijs. iiijd.” Steevens.
7 I think, 'twas Soto -] I take our author here to be paying a