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Gon. Faith, sir, you need not fear: When we
were boys, Who would believe that there were mountaineers", Dew-lapp'd like bulls, whose throats had hanging at
them Wallets of flesh ? or that there were such men, Whose heads stood in their breasts 6 ? which now
we find, Each putter-out of one for five ?, will bring us Good warrant of.
that there were MOUNTAINEERS, &c.] Whoever is curious to know the particulars relative to these mountaineers, may consult Maundeville's Travels, printed in 1503, by Wynkende Worde ; but it is yet a known truth that the inhabitants of the Alps have been long accustomed to such excrescences or tumours.
Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus ? SteeVENS.
men, Whose heads stood in their breasts?] Our author might have had this intelligence likewise from the translation of Pliny, b. v. chap. 8 : “ The Blemmyi, by report, have no heads, but mouth and eies both in their breasts."
STEEVENS. Or he might have had it from Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598 : “On that branch which is called Caora are a nation of people, whose heads appear not above their shoulders. They are reported to have their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts.” MALONE.
See the plate at the end of Othello. Boswell.
7 Each putter-out, &c.] The ancient custom here alluded to was this. In this age of travelling, it was a practice with those who engaged in long and hazardous expeditions, to place out a sum of money on condition of receiving great interest for it at their return home. So, Puntarvolo, (it is Theobald's quotation,) in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour : “I do intend, this year of jubilee coming on, to travel ; and (because I will not altogether go upon expence) I am determined to put some five thousand pound, to be paid me five for one, upon the return of my wife, myself, and my dog, from the Turk's court in Constantinople.”
1 To this instance I may add another from The Ball, a comedy, by Chapman and Shirley, 1639 :
“ I did most politickly disburse my sums
“ To have five for one at my return from Venice." Again, in Amends for Ladies, 1639 :
“ I would I had put out something upon my return;
I will stand to, and feed, Although my last : no matter, since I feel The best is past ® :-Brother, my lord the duke, Stand too, and do as we. Thunder and lightning. Enter Ariel like a harpy' ;
claps his wings upon the table, and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes ?. Arı. You are three men of sin, whom destiny
on five for one means 'on the terms of five for one.' So, in Barnaby Riche's Faults, and Nothing but Faults, 1607 :
those whipsters, that having spent the greatest part of their patrimony in prodigality, will give out the rest of their stocke, to be paid two or three for one, upon their return from Rome,” &c. &c.
STEEVENS. “ Each putter-out on five for one,] The old copy
has : of five for one." I believe the words were only transposed, and that the author wrote, as I have corrected it :
“Each putter-out of one for five." So, in The Scourge of Folly, by J. Davies of Hereford, printed about the year 1611 :
“ Sir Solus straight will travel, as they say,
“ And gives out one for three, when home comes he.” It appears from Moryson's Itinerary, 1617, Part I. p. 198, that “ this custom of giving out money upon these adventures was first used in court, and among noblemen ;
and that some years
before his book was published, “ bankerouts, stage players, and men of base condition had drawn it into contempt," by undertaking journeys merely for gain upon their return. MALONE.
8 I will stand to, and feed,
The best is past :] I cannot but think that this passage was intended to be in a rhyme, and should be printed thus :
“ I will stand to and feed; although my last, “ No matter, since I feel the best is past.” M. Mason. ? Enter Ariel like a harpy ; &c.] This circumstance is taken from the third book of the Æneid as translated by Phaer, bl. 1. 4to. 1558 :
fast to meate we fall. “ But sodenly from down the hills with grisly fall to syght, “ The harpies come, and beating wings with great noys out
thei shright, " And at our meate they snatch ; and with their clawes," &c. Milton, Parad. Reg. b. ii. has adopted the same imagery:
(That hath to instrument this lower world”,
[Seeing Alon. Seb. &c. draw their swords. And even with such like valour, men hang and
drown Their proper selves. You fools ! I and my fellows Are ministers of fate; the elements Of whom your swords are temper'd, may as well Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish One dowle that's in my plume®; my fellow
STEEVENS. – and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.] Though I will not undertake to prove that all the culinary pantomimes exhibited in France and Italy were known and imitated in this kingdom, I may observe that flying, rising, and descending services were to be found at entertainments given by the Duke of Burgundy, &c. in 1453, and by the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1600, &c. See M. Le Grand D’Aussi's Histoire de la vie Privée des François, vol. iii. p. 294, &c. Examples, therefore, of machinery similar to that of Shakspeare in the present instance, were to be met with, and perhaps had been adopted on the stage, as well as at public festivals here in England. See my note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, vol. viii. p. 184, from whence it appears that a striking conceit in an entertainment given by the Vidam of Chartres, had been transferred to another feast prepared in England as a compliment to Prince Alasco, 1583. STEEVENS.
2 That hath to INSTRUMENT this lower world, &c.] i. e. that makes use of this world, and every thing in it, as its instruments to bring about its ends. STEEVENS.
3 One dowle that's in my PLUME;] The old copy exhibits the
“One dowle that's in my plumbe." Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Bailey, in his Dictionary, says, that dowle is a feather, or rather the single particles of the down.
passage thus :
Are like invulnerable 4 : if you could hurt,
Since the first appearance of this edition, my very industrious and learned correspondent, Mr. Tollet, of Betley, in Staffordshire, has enabled me to retract a too hasty censure on Bailey, to whom we were long indebted for our only English Dictionary. In a small book, entitled Humane Industry: or, A History of most Manual Arts, printed in 1661, page 93, is the following passage : “ The wool-bearing trees in Æthiopia, which Virgil speaks of, and the Eriophori Arbores in Theophrastus, are not such trees as have a certain wool or dowl upon the outside of them, as the small cotton; but short trees that bear a ball upon the top, pregnant with wool, which the Syrians call Cott, the Græcians Gossypium, the Italians Bombagio, and we Bombase.”
.“ There is a certain shell-fish in the sea, called Pinna, that bears a mossy dowl, or wool, whereof cloth was spun and made.”—Again, p. 95, “ Trichitis, or the hayrie stone, by some Greek authors, and Alumen plumaceum, or downy alum, by the Latinists: this hair or dowl is spun into thread, and weaved into cloth.” I have since discovered the same word in The Ploughman's Tale, erroneously attributed to Chaucer, v. 3202:
“ And swore by cock 'is herte and blode,
“ He would tere him every doule.” STEEVENS. Cole in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, interprets "young dowle," by lanugo. MALONE.
“ Their swords by them they laid-
Against your peace: Thee, of thy son, Alonso,
from (Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls Upon your heads,) is nothing, but heart's sorrow, And a clear life ensuingo He vanishes in thunder : then, to soft musick, enter
the Shapes again, and dance with mops and mowes?, and carry out the table. Pro. [ Aside.] Bravely the figure of this harpy
hast thou Perform’d, my Ariel ; a grace it had, devouring : Of my instruction hast thou nothing 'bated, In what thou hadst to say: so, with good life ®,
5 — CLEAR life --] Pure, blameless, innocent. Johnson. So, in Timon : roots you clear heavens.” Steevens.
- is nothing, but heart's sorrow,
And a clear life ensuing:] The meaning, which is somewhat obscured by the expression, is,-"a miserable fate, which nothing but contrition and amendment of life can avert.” MALONE.
with mops and mowes —] So, in King Lear :
STEEVENS. The old copy, by a manifest error of the press, reads—with mocks. So afterwards : “Will be here with mop and mowe.”
MALONE. To mock and to mowe, seem to have had a meaning somewhat similar; i. e. to insult, by making mouths, or wry faces.
STEEVENS. 8 — with GOOD LIFE.] With good life may mean, with exact presentation of their several characters, with observation strange of their particular and distinct parts.' So we say, “he acted to the life. JOHNSON. Thus in the 6th canto of the Barons' Wars, by Drayton :
“ Done for the last with such exceeding life,
“ As art therein with nature seem'd at strife." Again, in our author's King Henry VIII. Act I. Sc. I. : VOL. XV.