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fashion ; and sung those tunes to the over-fcutched
but on some subjects filence is less reprehensible than information.
In the age of Shakspeare, however, (as I learn from Thomas Lupton's Third Booke of Notable Thinges, 4to. bl. 1.) it was customary “to make counterfeat mandrag, which is fold by deceyuers for much money." Out of the great double root of briony (by means of a process not worth transcribing) they produced the kind of priapic idol to which Shallow has been compared. STEEVENS.
Bullein, in his Bullwark of Defence against all Sicknelle, &c. fol. 1597, p. 41, speaking of mandrake, says : - this hearbe is called also anthropomorphos, because it beareth the image of a man; and that is false. For no herbe hath the shape of a man or woman; no truly, it is not naturall of his owne growing: but by the crafty invention of some false men it is done by arte.". My friend Marcellus, the description of this mandrake, as I have fayd, was nothing but the imposterous subtility of wicked people. Perhaps of fryers or supersticious monkes whych have wrytten thereof at length; but as for Dioscorides, Galen, and Plinie, &c. they have not wrytten thereof fo largely as for to have head, armes, fyngers," &c. Reed.
See a former scene of this play, p. 25, n.9; and Sir Thomas Brown's Vulgar Errors, p. 72, edit. 1686. Malone.
?-over-scutched-] That is, whipt, carted. Pope.
I rather think that the word means dirty or grimed. The word huswives agrees better with this sense. into mean houses, and boasted his accomplishments to dirty
JOHNSON, Ray, among his north country words, says that an overswitched husuife is a strumpet. Over-scutched has undoubtedly the meaning which Mr. Pope has affixed to it. Over-Scutched is the same as over-Scotched. A scutch or Scotch is a cut or lash with a rod or whip. STEEVENS.
The following passage in Maroccus Extaticus, or Bankes' Bay Horse in a Traunce, 4to. 1595, inclines me to believe that this word is used in a wanton sense : “ The leacherous landlord hath his wench at his commandment, and is content to take ware for his money ; his private scutcherie hurts not the common-wealth farther than that his whoore shall have a house rent-free.”
Malone. Now I bethink me, the pleasant Esquire aforesaid may have
hufwives that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his fancies, of his good-nights,3 And now is this Vice's dagger 4 become a squire ;
reason on the fide of bis enucleation ; for is not the name of a
l procurefs--Mrs. Overdone, in Measure for Measure? and hath not that feftive varlet Sir John Falstatf talked of his “ white doe with a black scut?" AMNER.
3-fancies, or his good-nights.] Fancies and Good-nights were the titles of little poems. One of Gascoigne's Good-nights is published among his Flowers. Steevens.
* And now is this Vice's dagger-) By Vice here the poet means that droll character in the old plays (which I have several times mentioned in the course of these notes) equipped with asses ears and a wooden dagger. It was very satirical in Falstaff to compare Shallow's activity and impertinence to such a machine as a wooden dagger in the hands and management of a buffoon.
TheoBALD. See Vol. V. p. 391, n. 9. Steevens.
Vice was the name given to a droll figure, heretofore much shown upon our stage, and brought in to play the fool and make sport for the popitlace. His dress was always a long jerkin, a fool's cap with ass's ears, and a thin wooden dagger, such as is still retained in the modern figures of Harlequin and Scaramouch. Mintheụ, and others of our more modern criticks, ftrain bard to find out the etymology of the word, and fetch it from the Greek: probably we need look no further for it than the old French word Vis, which fignified the same as Visage does now. From this in part came Vifdase, a word common among them for a fool, which Menage fays is but a corruption from Vis d'afne, the face or head of an ass.' It may be imagined therefore that Vifdafe, or Vis d'asne, was the name first given to this foolish theatrical figure, and that by vulgar use it was shortened to plain Vis or Vice. Hanmer.
The word Vice is an abbreviation of Device; for in our old dramatick shows, where he was first exhibited, he was nothing more than an artificial figure, a puppet moved by machinery, and then originally called a Device or Vice. In these representations he was a constant and the most popular character, afterwards adopted into the early comedy. The fmith's machine called a vice, is an abbreviation of the same sort.- -Hamlet calls his uncle "a vice of kings," a fantastick and factitious
and talks as familiarly of John of Gaunt, as if he : had been sworn brother to him : and I'll be sworn he never saw him but once in the Tilt-yard ; and then he burst his head,5 for crouding among the marshal's men. I saw it; and told John of Gaunt, he beat his own name: 6 for you might have truss’d him, and all his apparel, into an eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court; and now has he land and beeves. Well; I will be acquainted with him, if I return: and it shall go hard, but I will make him a philosopher's two stones to me:7 If the young dace 8 be a bait for the old
image of majesty, a mere puppet of royalty. See Jonson's Alchymist, Ac I. sc. iii : “ And on your stall a puppet with a vice."
T. WARTON. - he burst his head,] Thus the folio and quarto. The modern editors read broke. To break and to burst were, in our poet's time, fynonymously used. Thus Ben Jonfon, in his Poetafter, translates the following passage in Horace:
fracta pereuntes cuspide Gallos.
“The lances burst in Gallia's Naughter'd forces.” So, in The Old Legend of Sir Bevis of Hampton : “ But syr Bevis fo hard him thrust, that his shoulder-bone
he burst." Again, in The Second Part of Tamburlaine, 1590 :
“Whose chariot wheels have burst th’ Assyrian's bones.” Again, in Holinshed, p. 809: “ that manie a speare was burst, and manie a great stripe given."
To brast had the same meaning. Barrett, in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictonary, 1580, calls a housebreaker “ a breaker and braster of doors." The same author constantly uses burst as synonymous to broken. See Vol. IX. p. 13, n. 5.
STEEVENS. beat his own name :] That is, beat gaunt, a fellow so slender, that hiş name might have been gaunt. Johnson.
? philofopher's two stones—] One of which was an universal medicine, and the other a transmuter of base metals into gold. WARBURTON.
I believe the commentator has refined this paffage too much.
pike, I see no reason, in the law of nature, but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and there an end.
A philosopher's two stones is only more than the philosopher's stone. The universal medicine was never, so far as I know, conceived to be a stone before the time of Butler's stone.
Johnson. Mr. Edwards ridicules Dr. Warburton's note on this passage, but without reason. Gower has a chapter in his Confessio Amantis, “Of the three stones that philosophres made :” and Chaucer, in his tale of the Chanon's Yeman, expressly tells us, that one of them is Alixar cleped; and that it is a water made of the four elements. Face, in the Alchymisi, affures us, it is “ a fione, and not a stone." FARMER.
That the ingredients of which this Elixir, or Universal Medicine, was composed, were by no means difficult of acquisition, may be proved by the following conclusion of a letter written by Villiers Duke of Buckingham to King James I. on the subjeét of the Philosopher's Stone. See the second Volume of Royal Letters in the British Museum, No. 6987, art. 101 :
I confess, so longe as he conseled the meanes he wrought by, I dispised all he said: but when he tould me, that which he hath given your sovrainthip to preserve you from all ficknes ever hereafter, was extracted out of a t-d, I admired the fellow; and for theis reasons: that being a stranger to you, yett he had found out the kind you are come of, and
natural affections and apetis ; and so, like a skillful man, hath given you natural fisicke, which is the onlie meanes to preserve the radicall hmrs : and thus I conclude: My low is healthfull, my divill's luckie, myself is happie, and needs no more than your blessing, which is my trew Felofophers stone, upon which I build as upon a rocke : Your Majesties most humble slave and doge
Stinie." The following passage in Churchyard's Commendation to them that can make Gold, &c. 1593, will fufficiently prove that the Elixir was supposed to be a stone before the time of Butler :
much matter may you read
A Forest in Yorkshire. Enter the Archbishop of York, MOWBRAY, HAST
INGS, and Others.
Arch. What is this forest call'd?
grace. Arch. Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers
Hast. We have sent forth already.
'Tis well done.
Again, in the Dedication of The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image and certaine Satyres, 1598 :
“ Or like that rare and rich Elixar stone,
“ Can turne to gold leaden invention.” SȚEEVENS. I think Dr. Johnson's explanation of this passage is the true one: “ I will make him of twice the value of the philosopher's stone.” MALONE
young dace-] That is, if the pike may prey upon the dace, if it be the law of nature that the stronger may seize upon the weaker, Falstaff may, with great propriety, devour Shallow. Johnson.
9 'Tis Gualtree forest,] “ The earle of Westmoreland, &c. made forward against the rebels, and coming into a plaine, within Galtree forest, caused their standards to be pitched down in like sort as the archbishop had pitched his, over against them."
Holinshed, p. 529. STEEVENS.