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Mr. Steevens would suggest starchy from to starch: but the vanity of the coxcomb Malvolio, which had dubb'd him a count in his last reverie, would hardly suffer him to waste a thought on the lady who had the care of the linen.'
Though our silence be drawn from us with cars,] Dr. Johnson would read carts, and Mr. Tyrwhitt cables, yet it appears to me that a car is as good a vehicle to draw silence with as any other. The fact is, it is one of the thousand lines that Ben Jonson wished to God Shakspeare had blotted, when the hurry which caused him to write them was over. We talk of drawi ing out a man's words or a man's confession : but to silence we affix invariably some verb of inhibition or restraint. To draw with a car, or a cart, or a cable, or by the ears, or any other mode of drawing that the ingenuity of a commentator can recur to, will never give to the reader a palatable idea of an imposition of silence.
86 - her great P's.] In the direction of the letter which Malvolio reads, there is neither a C, nor a P, to be found.
There may, however, be words in the direction which he does not read. To formal directions of two ages ago, were often added these words, Humbly Present.
JOHNSON 37 stannyel] The name of a kind of hawk, is very judiciously put here for a stallion, by Sir Thomas Hanmer.
rank as a fox.] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads not as rank. The other editions, though it be as rank.
JOHNSON. Sowter, which means a bungler, a cobler, or botcher, is here put for a bungling hound: hence to fox-hunters the reading of Sir T. Hanmer will appear the most proper.
39 I will be point-de-vice, the very man.] This phrase is of French extraction-a points-devisez. Chaucer uses it in the Romaunt of the Rose,
“Her nose was wrought at point-device." i. e. with the utmost possible exactness. SteeveNS.
40 — tray-trip,] Tray-trip is mentioned in The City Match by Jasper Maine, 1639,
.“ while she
“ Find himself business at tray-trip i'the hall.” And again in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady, 1616,
“Reproving him at tray-trip, sir, for swearing." So again in Glapthorne's Wit in a Constable, 1639,
mean time, you may play at tray-trip or cockall for black puddings.” STEEVENS.
41 - a cheveril glove-] A cheveril glove [i.e. a kid. leather glove, from the French chevreau] being dressed but on one side, puts on a different appearance according to the side that is turned outwards.
43 ---the haggard,] The haggard is the unreclaimed hawk, who flies after every bird without distinction,
The meaning may be, that he must catch every opportunity, as the wild hawk strikes every bird. But perhaps it might be read more properly,
Not like the haggard. He must chuse persons and times, and observe tempers, he must fly at proper game, like the trained hawk, and fly at large like the haggard, to seize all that comes in his way.
JOHNSON, 43 ---the list-] is the bound, limit, farthest point.
JOHNSON, 44 No, not a grise;] A grise is a step, sometimes written grecse, from degres, French. JOHNSON
45 I had as lief be a Brownist, as a politician.] The sect of the Brownists, of which the poet makes mention, was derived from one Robert Brown, in the year 1581. The tenets of this sect were of so absurd a nature, and so totally repugnant to the modes of the establishment at that time, that they drew upon themselves the public censure, the consequence of which was, that they were soon obliged to seek an asylum in the Netherlands. Some time afterwards the author returned and took orders in the church of Eng, land, but (nefas dictu) he turned out to be a very profligate and unworthy pastor.
It is remarkable, that a part of this sect, transplanting themselves into America, laid the foundation of the colony of New England. HUMPHREYS.
The Brownists seem, in the time of our author, to have been the constant objects of popular satire. In
the old comedy of Ram-alley, 1611, is the following stroke at them :
.“ of a new sect, and the good professors, will, “ like the Brownist, frequent gravel-pits shortly, for they use woods and obscure holes already."
STEEVENS. ; 46 I have sent after him. He says, he'll come;] From whom could my lady have any such intelligence ? Her servant, employed upon this errand, was not yet return'd; and, when he does return, he brings word, that the youth would hardly be intreated back. I am persuaded, she was intended rather to be in suspense, and deliberating with herself: putting the supposition that he would come; and asking herself, in that case, how she should entertain him.
THEOBALD. He says, he'll come;] i, e. I suppose pow, or admit now, he says he'll come ;
which Mr. Theobald, not understanding, alters unnecessarily to, say he will come ; in which the Oxford editor has followed him.
WABBURTON. 17 --midsummer madness.] Hot weather often turns the brain, which is, I suppose, alluded to here.
JOHNSON, 48 - cherry-pit] Cherry-pit is pitching cherry-stones into a little hole. Nash, speaking of the paint on ladies' faces, says—“You may play at cherry-pit in “their cheeks.” So in a comedy, called The Isle of, Gulls, 1611-“if she were here, I would have a “bout at cobnut or cherry-pit." So in The Witch of
Edmonton, “ I have lov'd a witch ever since I play'd s at cherry-pit."
STEEVENS. 49 Hang him, foul collier !] Collier was, in our author's time, a term of the highest reproach. So great were the impositions practised by the venders of coals, that R. Greene, at the conclusion of his Notable Dis. covery of Cozenage, 1592, has published what he calls, A pleasant Discovery of the Cosenage of Colliers.
-wear this jewel for me,] Jewel does not properly signify a single gem, but any precious ornament or superfluity.
JOHNSON. 51 He is knight, dubbid with unhack'd rapier, and on carpet consideration ;-] That is, he is no soldier by profession, not a Knight Banneret, dubbed in the field of battle, but, on carpet consideration, at a festivity, or on some peaceable occasion, when knights receive their dignity kneeling not on the ground, as in war, but on a carpet. This is, I believe, the original of the contemptuous term a carpet knight, who was naturally held in scorn by the men of war. JOHNSON.
There was an order of knighthood of the appellation of Knights of the CARPET, though few or no persons (at least among those whom I have consulted) seem to know any thing about it, or even to have heard of it. I have taken some memoranda concerning the institution, and know that William lord Burgh (of Starborough castle in the county of Surry, father to Thomas lord Burgh, deputy of Ireland, and to Sir John Burgh who took the great Caracca ship in 1592)