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Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
of his tail. A dog so cut was called a cut, or curt-tail, and by contraction cur. Cut and long-tail therefore signified the dog of a clown, and the dog of a gentleman.
Again, in The First Part of the Eighth Liberal Science, entitled Ars Ădulandi, &c. devised and compiled by Ulpian Fulwel, 1576:
-yea, even their very dogs, Rug, Rig, and Risbie, yea, cut and long-taile, they shall be welcome." Steevens.
come cut and long-tail,] I can see no meaning in this phrase. Slender promises to make his mistress a gentlewoman, and probably means to say, he will deck her in a gown of the court-cut, and with a long train or tail. In the comedy of Eastward Hoe, is this passage : “ The one must be ladyfied forsooth, and be attired just to the court cut and long tayle;" which seems to justify our reading-Court cut and long tail. Sir 7. Hawkins.
come cut and long-tail,] This phrase is often found in old plays, and seldom, if ever, with any variation. The change therefore proposed by Sir John Hawkins cannot be received, without great violence to the text. Whenever the words occur, they always bear the same meaning, and that meaning is obvious enough without any explanation. The origin of the phrase may however admit of some dispute, and it is by no means certain that the account of it, here adopted by Mr. Steevens from Dr. Johnson, is well-founded. That there ever existed such a mode of disqualifying dogs by the laws of the forest, as is here asserted, cannot be acknowledged without evidence, and no authority is quoted to prove that such a custom at any time prevailed. The writers on this subject are totally silent, as far as they have come to my knowledge. Manwood, who wrote on the Forest Laws before they were entirely disused, mentions expeditation or cutting off three claws of the fore-foot, as the only manner of lawing dogs; and with his account, the Charter of the Forest seems to agree. Were I to offer a conjecture, I should suppose that the phrase originally referred to horses, which might be denominated cut and long tail, as they were curtailed of this part of their bodies, or allowed to enjoy its full growth; and this might be practised according to the difference of their value, or the uses to which they were put. In this view, cut and long tail would include the whole species of horses good and bad. In support of this opinion it may be added, that formerly a cut was a word of reproach in vulgar colloquial abuse, and I believe is never to be found applied to horses, except to those of the worst kind. After all, if any authority can be produced to countenance Dr. Johnson's explanation, I shall be ready to retract every thing that is here said. See also a note on The Match at Midnight, Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, Vol. VII, p. 424, edit. 1780.
Reed. The last conversation I had the honour to enjoy with Sir William Blackstone, was on this subject; and by a series of
Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz; I 'll leave you.
Anne. Now, master Slender.
Slen. My will? od's heartlings, that 's a pretty jest, indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
Anne. I mean, master Slender, what would you with me?
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you: Your father, and my uncle, have made motions: if it be my luck, so : if not, happy man be his dole!? They can tell you how things go, better than I can: You may ask your father; here he comes,
Enter Page, and Mistress AGE.
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
No, good master Fenton. Come, master Shallow; come, son Slender; in :Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton.
[Exeunt Page, SHAL. and Slen. Quick. Speak to mistress Page.
accurate references to the whole collection of ancient Forest Laws, he convinced me of our repeated error, expeditation and genuscission, being the only established and techmical modes ever used for disabling the canine species. Part of the tails of spaniels, indeed, are generally cut off (ornamenti gratia) while they are puppies, so that (admitting a loose description) every kind of dog is comprehended in the phrase of cut and long-tail, and every rank of people in the same expression, if metaphorically used.
Steevens. happy man be his dole!] A proverbial expression. See Ray's Collection, p. 116, edit. 1737. *Steevens.
Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love your
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool.
band. Quick. That's my master, master doctor.
Anne. Alas, I had rather be set quick i’ the earth,
[Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ANNE. Fent. Farewel, gentle mistress; farewel, Nan.1
Quick. This is my doing now;-Nay, said I, will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician?2 Look on master Fenton :- this is my doing.
8 I must advance the colours of my love,] The same metaphor occurs in Romeo and Juliet :
“ And death's pale flag is not advanced there.” Steevens.
be set quick i' the earth, And bowl'd to death with turnips.] This is a common proverb in the southern counties. I find almost the same expression in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair : “ Would I had been set in the ground, all but the head of me, and had my brains bowld at."
Collins. 1 Farewel, gentle mistress; farewel, Nan.] Mistress is here used as a trissyllable. Malone.
If mistress can be pronounced as a trissyllable, the line will still be uncommonly defective in harmony. Perhaps a monosyllable has been omitted, and we should read
“ Farewel, my gentle mistress; farewel, Nan.” Steevens.
fool, and a physician?] I should read-fool or a physician, meaning Slender and Caius. Fohnson.
Sir Thomas Hanmer reads according to Dr. Johnson's conjecture. This may be right.--Or my Dame Quickly may allude to
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night' Give my sweet Nan this ring: There 's for thy pains.
(Erit. Quick. Now Heaven send thee good fortune! A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet, I would my master had mistress Anne; or I would master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would master Fenton had her: I will do what I can for them all three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good as my word; but speciously* for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses; What a beast am I to slack it? 5
the proverb, a man of forty is either a fool or a physician; but she
“ Choler. Phlegm 's a fool.
“ Melan. Or a physician.”
“No matter whether I be a fool or a physician."
I believe the old copy is right, and that Mrs. Quickly means to insinuate that she had addressed at the same time both Mr. and Mrs. Page on the subject of their daughter's marriage, one of whom favoured Slender, and the other Caius: “ – on a fool or a physician,” would be more accurate, but and is sufficiently suitable to Dame Quickly, referendo singula singulis.
Thus: “You two are going to throw away your daughter on a fool and a physician; you, sir, on the former, and you, madam, on the latter.” Malone.
- once to-night - ] i. e. sometime to-night. So, in a letter from the sixth Earl of Northumberland; (quoted in the notes on the household book of the fifth earl of that name:) " — notwithstanding I trust to be able ons to set up a chapell off myne owne.” Again, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman : Well, I'll try if he will be appeased with a leg or an arm; if not, you must die once." i. e. at some time or other. Steevens.
-speciously -] She means to say specially. Steevens. 5- to slack it?] i. e. neglect. So, in King Lear: “— if then they chanced to slack you, we could control them."
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.
Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in 't. [Exit Bard.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown into 'the Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta’en out, and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i' the litter: and you may know by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abhor; for the water swells a man; and what a thing should I have been, when I had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the wine. Bard. Here's mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.
Fal. Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly's as cold, as if I had swallowed snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. Bard. Come in, woman.
Enter Mrs. QUICKLY. Quick. By your leave; I cry your mercy; Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Take away these chalices; Go brew me a pottle of sack finely. Bard. With eggs, sir?
Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.—[Exit Bard.]–How now?
Quick. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from mistress Ford.
Fal. Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough: I was thrown into the ford: I have my belly full of ford.