Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

tain; no l'envoy, no l'envoy, no salve, fir, but a plantain !

The quarto

falve in the mountebank's budget. Or shall we read- - 10 enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy in the vile, fir -- 0 fir, plantain. The inatter is not great, but one would wish for soine meaning or other.

JOHNSON. Male or mail was a word then in use. Reynard the fox fent Kayward's head in a male. So likewise, in Tamburlane, or the Scy. thian Shepherd, 1590 :

Open the nilales, yet guard the treasure fure.” I believe Dr. Jolioson's first explanation to be right.

STEEVENS. Male, which is the reading of the old copies, is only the ancient spelling of mail. So, in Taylor the Water-Poei's Works, ( Character of a Baud, ) 1630: " the cloathe-bag of counsel, the capcase, fardle, pack, male, of friendly toleration. 1598, and the first folio, have thee male. Correded by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.

I can scarcely think that Shakspeare had so far forgotten his little school-learning, as to suppose the Latin verb salve, and the English substantive, salve, had the same pronunciation; and yet without this, the quibble cannot be preserved. FARNER.

The same quibble occurs in Arislipjus, or The Jovial Philofopher, 1630 :

os Salve, Master Simplicius.

" Salve me; 'tis but a Surgeon's complement." STEEVENS. Perhaps we fhould read no salve in them all, fir.

TYRWHITT. This passage appears to me to be nonsense as it ftauds, incapable of explanation. I have therefore no doubt but we should adopt the amendment proposed by Tyrwhitt, and read No salve in them all, Sir.

Moth tells his master, that there was a Costard with a broken shin : and the Knight, supposing that Moth has some conceit in what he faid, calls upon him to explain it. Some riddle, says he, fome enige

Come -- thy l'envoy, - begin. But Collard supposing that he was calling for these things, in order to apply them to his broken thin, says, he will not have them, as they were pone of them salves, and begs for a plain plantain instead of them. This is clearly the meaning of Costard's speech, which provokes the illustrious Arma. do to laugh at the inconfiderate, who takes falve for l'envoy, and the word l'envoy for salve.

ma.

Arm. By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy filly thought, my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes me to ridiculous smiling : 0, pardon me my fars! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l'envoy, and the word, l'envoy, for a falve ?

Moth. Do the wife think them other? is not l'envoy a falve ? Akm. No, page: it is an epilogue or discourse,

to inake plain Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain. I will example it : 3

a new one.

But when Moth, who is an arch and sensible chara&er, says, in reply to Armado :--- Do the wise think them other?

Is not l'envoy a falve?" we must not suppose that this question is owing to his Gmplicity, but that he intended thereby either to lead the Knight on to the subsequent explanation of the word l'envoy, or to quibble in the manner Atated in the notes upon the Eng. lish word salve and the Latiu falvé; a quibble which operates upon the eye, not the cario Yet Stceyens lias shown it was not

If this quibble was intended, which does not evidently appear to be the case, the only way that I account for it, is this:

As the l'envoy was always in the concluding part of a play or poem, it was probably in the l'envoy that the poet or reciter iook leave, of the audience, and the word itself appears to be derived from the verb envoyer, to send away.

Now the usual salutation amongst the Romans at parting, as well as meeting; was the word Salvé. Moth, therefore, considers the l'envoy as a falutation or salvé, and then quibbling on this last word, alks if it be not a salve. I do not offer this explanation with much confidence, but it is

one that occurs to me. M. MASON. 3 I will example it: &c.] These words, and some others, are not in the first folio, but in the quarto of 1598. I fill believe the old passage to want regulation, though it has not suflicient merit to encourage the editor who should attempt 'it. There is in Tuffer an old song, beginning –

" The ape, the lion, the fox, and the afre,

" Thus-setts forth man in a glasse,“ &c. Perhaps some ridicule on this ditty was intended. STELVENS.

the on

[ocr errors]

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,

Were still at odds, being but three.
There's the moral: Now the l'envoy.

Moth. I will add the l'envoy: Say the moral
again.
Arm. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,

Were still at odds, being but three:
Moth. Until the goose came out of door,

And stay'd the odds by adding four.
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow
with my l'envoy.

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,

Were still at odds, being but three:
ARM. Until the goose came out of door,

Staying the odds by adding four.
Moth. A good l'envoy, ending in the goose;
Would

you

defire more? Cost. The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose,

that's flat: Sir, your penny-worth is good, an your goose be

fat.-To sell a bargain well, is as cunning as fast and

loose : Let me see a fat l'envoy ; ay, that's a fat goose. ARM. Come hither, come hither: How did this

argument begin? Moth. By saying, that a Costard was broken in

a fhin.

Then call'd you for the l'envoy.
Cost. True, and I for a plantain; Thus came your

argument in:
Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought;
And he ended the market.

And he ended the market. ] Alluding to the proverb

Thru

ARM. But tell me; how was there a Costard broken in a fhin ?

Moth. I will tell you sensibly.

Cost. Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth; I will
speak that l'envoy :
I, Costard, running out, that was fafely within,
Fell over the threshold, and broke my shin.

ARM. We will talk no more of this matter.
Cost. Till there be more matter in the shin.
ARM. Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchife thee.

Cost. O, marry me to one Frances;-I smell some l'envoy, some goose, in this.

ARM. By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee at liberty, enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immur'd, restrained, captivated, bound.

Cost. True, true; and now you will be my purgation, and let me loose.

ARM. I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and, in lieu thereof, impofe on thee nothing but this : Bear this fignificant to the country maid Jaquenetta: there is remuneration ; [ Giving him money. ] for the best ward of mine honour, is, rewarding my dependants. Moth, follow. [Exit.

women and a goose, make market. Tre donne ed un' occa fan un mere cato. Ital. Ray's Proverbs. STEEVENS.

-how was there a Costard broken in a shin? ] Coftard is the name of a species of apple. JOHNSON.

It has been already observed that the head was anciently called the coftard. So, in K. Richard III. " Take him over the costard with the hilt of thy sword. A costard likewise signified a craba stick. So, in The Loyal Subje&t of Beaumont and Fletcher:

" I hope they'll crown his service.
“ 'With a costard. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Moth. Like the sequel, 1.6 _Signior Costard,

adieu. Cost. My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony Jew! ?

[ Exit Moth.

[ocr errors]

tator.

19

7

6 Like the sequel, 1.] Sequele, in French, signifies a great man's train. The joke is, that a lingle page was all his train.

THEOBALD. I believe this joke exists only in the apprehension of the commen

Sequelle, by the French, is never employed but in a derogatory sense. They use it to express the gang of a highwayman, but not the train of a lord ; the followers of a rebel, and not the attend. anis on a general. Thus Holinihed, p. 39. 6 to the intent that by the extin&ion of him and his sequeale, all civil warre and inward division might cease,” &c. Moth uses sequel only in the literary acceptation.

Mr. Heath observes that the meaning of Moth is, – I follow you as close as the sequel does the premises. STEEVENS.

Moth alludes to the sequel of any story, which follows a preceding part, and was in the old story-books introduced in this manner; " Here followeth the sequel of such a story, or adventure. So Hamlet fays, “ But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admonition?" M. MASON.

- my incony Jew!] Incony or kony in the north signifies, fine, delicate - as a kony thing, a fine thing. It is plain therefore, we fhould read:

u my incong jewel.” WARBURTON. I know not whether it be right, however specious, to change few to jewel. Jew, in our author's time, was, for whatever reason, apparently a word of endearment, So, in The Midsummer-Night's Dream: " Moj briky juvenal, and eke minst lovely Jew."

JOHNSON. The word is used again in the 4th act of this play:

- in oft incony vulgar wit. In the old comedy called Blurt Master Confiable, 1602, I meet with it again. A maid is speaking to her mistress about a gown:

it makes you have a molt inconie body." Cony and incong have the fame meaning. So, Metaphor says in Jonson's Tale of

“O superdainty canon, vicar inconey." Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599:

“O, I bave sport inconey i' faith,"

[ocr errors]

a Tub:

« AnteriorContinuar »