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Clo. I did impeticos thy gratillity ;6 for Malvolio's nose is no whipstock: My lady has a white hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.
Leman is frequently used by the ancient writers, and Spencer in particular. So again, in The noble Solilier, 1634:
“ Fright him as he's embracing his new leman." The money was given him for his leman, i. e. his mistress. We have still “ Leman-Street," in Goodman's-fields. · He says he did impeticoat the gratuity, i. e he gave it to his petticoat companion ; for (says he) Malvolio's nose is no wbipstock, i. e. Malvolio may smell out our connexion, but his suspicion will not prove the instrument of our punishment. My mistress bas a white band, and the myrmidons are no bottle-ale bouses, i. e. my mistress is handsome, but the houses kept by officers of justice are no places to make merry and entertain her at. Such may be the meaning of this whimsical speech. A wbipstock is, I believe, the handle of a whip, round which a strap of leather is usually twisted, and is sometimes put for the whip itself. So, in Albumazar, 1615:
- out, Carter,
the coach-man sit!
“ Having a lusty whipstock in his hand.” The word occurs again in Jeronymo, 1605:
Bought you a whistle and a whipstock too.” Steevens. 6 I did impeticos thy gratillity;] This, Sir T. Hanmer tells us, is the same with impocket thy gratuity. He is undoubtedly right; but we must read-I did impeticoat thy gratuity. The fools were kept in long coats, to which the allusion is made. There is yet much in this dialogue which I do not understand.
Johnson. The note on the Morris-dancers, at the end of K. Henry IV, P. I, sufficiently proves that petticoats were not always a part of the dress of fools or jesters, though they were of ideots, for a reason which I avoid to offer. Steevens.
It is a very gross mistake to imagine that this character was habited like an ideot. Neither he nor Touchstone, though they wear a particoloured dress, has either Goxcomb or bauble, nor is by any means to be confounded with the Fool in King Lear, nor even, I think with the one in All's Well tbat ends well. A Dissertation on the Fools of Shakspeare, a character he has most judi. ciously varied and discriminated, would be a valuable addition to the notes on his plays. Ritson.
The old copy reads—“I did impeticos thy gratillity.” The meaning, I think, is, I did impeticoat or impocket thy gratuity; but the reading of the old copy should not, in my opinion, be here disturbed. The Clown uses the same kind of fantastic lan
Sir And. Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling, when all is done. Now, a song.
Sir To. Come on; there is six-pence for you: let 's have a song
Sir And. There 's a testril of me too: if one knight give a
Clo. Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life??
Sir To. A love-song, a love-song.
O, stay and hear; your true love 's coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Every wise man's son doth know.
Sir To. Good, good.
Present mirth hath present laughter ;
What's to come, is still unsure :
Youth 's a stuff will not endure. guage elsewhere in this scene. Neither Pigrogromitus, nor the Vapians would object to it. Malone.
? of good life?] I do not suppose that by a song of good life, the Clown means a song of a moral turn; though Sir Andrew answers to it in that signification. Gool life, I believe, is harmless mirth and jollity. It may be a Gallicism: we call a jolly fellow a bon vivant. Steevens.
From the opposition of the words in the Clown's question, I incline to think that fool life is here' used in its usual acceptation. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, these words are used for a virtuous character :
“ Defend your reputation, or farewel to your good life
forever." Milone. 8 In delay there lies no plenty;] No man will ever be wo th much,who delays the advantages offered by the present hour, in hopes that the future will offer more. So, in K. Richard III, Act IV, sc. ïji:
“ Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary.” Again, in K. Henry VI, P.I:
“ Defer no time, deciz: hare dangerous ends."
Sir And. A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.
Sir To. To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion. But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch, that will draw three souls out of one weaver?2 shall we do that?
Again, in a Scots proverb: “ After a delay comes a let.” See Kelly's Collection, p. 52. Steevens.
9 Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,] This line is obscure; we might read:
Come, a kiss then, sweet and twenty. Yet I know not whether the present reading be not right, for in some counties sweet and twenty, whatever be the meaning, is a phrase of endearment. Johnson. So, in Wit of a Woman, 1604:
“ Sweet and twenty: all sweet and sweet." * The meaning of our author undoubtedly is “Come and kiss me, sweet and young." I think it highly probable, that this line has undergone some alteration, which renders it so obscure as not to be understood by any of the commentators. In place of “ Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty" I would read « Then come kiss, sweet one-and-twenty." Come, enjoy pleasure while blest with the charms and vigour of youth. Am. Edit.
1-make the welkin dance - ] That is, drink till the sky seems to turn round. Johnson. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, sc. vü:
“ Cup us till the world round.” Again, Mr. Pope :
“ Ridotta sips and dances, till she see
draw three souls out of one weaver?] Our author repregents weavers as much given to harmony in his time. I have shewn the cause of it elsewhere. This expression of the power of music is familiar with our author. Much Ado about Nothing: “ Now'is his soul ravished. Is it not strange that sheep's. guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?"-Why he says ibree souls, is because he is speaking of a catch of three parts ; and the peripatetic philosophy, then in vogue, very liberally gave every man three souls. The vegetative or plastic, the animal, and the rational. To this, too, Jonson alludes, in his Poetaster: " What, will I turn shark upon my friends ? or my friends' friends ? I scorn it with my three souls.” By the mention of these three, therefore, we may suppose it was Shakspeare's pur. pose, to hint to us those surprizing effects of music, which the ancients speak of, when they tell us of Amphion, who moved stones and trces ; Orpheus and Arion, who tamed savage beasts; and Timotheus, who governed, as he pleased, the passions of his
Sir And. An you love me, let 's do 't: I am dog at
Clo. By 'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well. Sir And. Most certain: let our catch be, Thou knave.
Clo. Hold thy peace, thou knave, knight? I shall be constraind in 't to call thee knave, knight.
Sir And. 'Tis not the first time I have constrain'd one to call me knave. Begin, fool; it begins, Hold thy peace.
Clo. I shall never begin, if I hold my peace.
[They sing a catch.3
buman auditors. So noble an observation has our author conveyed in the ribaldry of this buffoon character. Warburton.
In a popular book of the time, Carew's translation of Huarte's Trial of Wits, 1594, there is a curious chapter concerning the three souls, “ vegetative, sensitive, and reasonable.” Farmer,
I doubt whether our author intended any allusion to this divi. sion of souls. In The Tempest, we have" trebles thee o'er;" i. e. makes thee thrice as great as thou wert before. In the same manner, I believe, he here only means to describe Sir Toby's catch as so harmonious, that it would hale the soul out of a weaver (the warmest lover of a song) thrice over ; or in other words, give him thrice more delight than it would give another
Dr. Warburton's supposition that there is an allusion to the catch being in three parts, appears to me one of his unfounded refinements. Malone.
3 They sing a catch.] This catch is lost. Johnson.
A catch is a species of vocal harmony to be sung by three or more persons; and is so contrived, that though each sings precisely the same notes as his fellows, yet by beginning at stated periods of time from each other, there results from the performance a harmony of as many parts as there are singers. Com. positions of this kind are, in strictness, called Canons in the unison ; and as properly, Catches, when the words in the different parts are made to catch or answer each other. One of the most remarkable examples of a true catch is that of Purcel, Let's live good honest lives, in which, immediately after one person has uttered these words, " What need we fear the Pope !" another in the course of his singing fills up a rest which the first makes, with the words “ The devil.",
The catch above-mentioned to be sung by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and the Clown, from the hints given of it, appears to he so contrived as that each of the singers calls the other knave in turn ; and for this the Clown means to apologise to the knight, when he says, that he shall be constrained to call him knave. I
Enter MARIA. Mar. What a catterwauling do you keep here! If my lady have not called up her steward, Malvolio, and bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.
Sir To. My lady 's a Cataian,“ we are politicians ; Malvolio 's a Peg-a-Ramsey,' and Three merry men be
have here subjoined the very catch, with the musical notes to which it was sung in the time of Shakspeare, and at the original performance of this comedy:
Hold thy peace and I pree thee hold thy peace
2d Thou knave, thou knave: hold thy peace thou knaye. The evidence of its authenticity is as follows: There is extant a book entitled, “ PAMMELIA, Musickes Miscellanie, or mixed Varietie of pleasant Roundelays and delightful Catches of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Parts in one.” Of this book there are at least two editions, the second printed in 1618. In 1609, a second part of this book was published with the title of DEUTEROMELIA, and in this book is contained the catch above given.
Sir 7. Hawkins. 4 — a Cataian,] It is in vain to seek the precise meaning of this term of reproach. I have already attempted to explain it in a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor. I find it used again in Love and Honour, by Sir W. D'Avenant, 1649:
“ Hang him, bold Cataian.” Steevens.
Peg-a-Ramsey,] In Durfey's Pills to purge Melancholy, is a very obscene old song, entitled Peg-a-Ramsey. See also Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, p. 207. Percy.
Nash mentions Peg-of-Ramsey among several other ballads, viz.Rogero, Basilino, Turkelony, All the Flowers of the Brooni, Pepper is black, Green Sleeves, Peggie Ramsie. It appears from the same author, that it was likewise a dance performed to the music of a song of that name. Steevens.
Peggy Ramsey is the name of some old song; the following is the tune to it: