Imagens das páginas

NATH. Laus Deo, bone intelligo.

HOL. Bone?bone, for benè: Priscian a little scratch'd; 'twill serve.

Enter ARMADO, MOTH, and Costard.

NATH. Videsne quis venit?

HOL. Video, & gaudeo.

ARM. Chirra!

HOL. Quare Chirra, not sirrah?

ARM. Men of peace, well encounter'd.

HOL. Most military sir, salutation.


should coin an uncouth affected word here, insanie, from insania of the Latins. Then, what a piece of unintelligible jargon have these learned criticks given us for Latin I think, I may venture to affirm, I have restored the passage to its true purity :

"Nath. Laus Deo, bone, intelligo."

The curate, addressing with complaisance his brother pedant, says, bone, to him, as we frequently in Terence find bone vir; but the pedant, thinking he had mistaken the adverb, thus descants on it:


Bone?-bone, for benè: Priscian a little scratched: 'twill serve." Alluding to the common phrase,-Diminuis Prisciani caput, applied to such as speak false Latin. THEOBALD.

There seems yet something wanting to the integrity of this passage, which Mr. Theobald has in the most corrupt and difficult places very happily restored. For Ne intelligis domine? to make frantick, lunatick, I read (nonne intelligis, domine?) to be mad, frantick, lunatick. JOHNSON.

Insanie appears to have been a word anciently used. In a book entitled, The Fall and evil Successe of Rebellion from Time to Time, &c. written in verse by Wilfride Holme, imprinted at London by Henry Bynneman; without date, (though from the concluding stanza, it appears to have been produced in the 8th year of the reign of Henry VIII.) I find the word used:

"In the days of sixth Henry, Jack Cade made a brag, "With a multitude of people; but in the consequence, "After a little insanie they fled tag and rag, "For Alexander Iden he did his diligence." STEEvens. I should rather read-" it insinuateth men of insanie."

FARMER. Me is printed for men in King Edward the Third, 1596, D 2. me like lanthorne shew,


"Light lust within themselves, even through themselves."


MOTH. They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps'.

[To COSTARD aside. COST. O, they have lived long in the alms-basket of words 2! I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon *.

MOTH. Peace; the peal begins.

ARM. Monsieur, [To HoL.] are you not letter'd? MOTH. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook:

What is a, b, spelt backward with the horn on his head?

HOL. Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.

They have been at a great FEAST of languages, and stolen the SCRAPS.] So, in Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, by Thomas Nashe, 1594:-"The phrase of sermons, as it ought to agree with the Scripture, so heed must be taken, that their whole sermon seem not a banquet of the broken fragments of scripture."

[ocr errors]


the ALMS-BASKET of words!] i. e. the refuse of words. The refuse meat of great families was formerly sent to the prisons. So, in The Inner Temple Masque, 1619, by T. Middleton: "-his perpetual lodging in the King's Bench, and his ordinary out of the basket." Again, in If this be not a good Play the Devil is in it, 1612: He must feed on beggary's basket." STEEVENS.


The refuse meat of families was put into a basket in our author's time, and given to the poor. So, in Florio's Second Frutes, 1591: "Take away the table, fould up the cloth, and put all those pieces of broken meat into a basket for the poor." MALONE.

3-honorificabilitudinitatibus:] This word, whencesoever it comes, is often mentioned as the longest word known. JOHNSON.

It occurs likewise in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604: "His discourse is like the long word honorificabilitudinitatibus; a great deal of sound and no sense." I meet with it likewise in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599. STEEVENS.

4 — a FLAP-DRAGON.] A flap-dragon is a small inflammable substance, which topers swallow in a glass of wine. See a note on King Henry IV. P. II. Act II. Sc. ult. STEEVENS.

MOTH. Вa, most silly sheep, with a horn :-You hear his learning.

HOL. Quis, quis, thou consonant?

MOTH. The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth, if I.

HOL. I will repeat them, a, e, i.—

MOTH. The sheep: the other two concludes it; o, u 5.

ARM. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit; snip,

5 The THIRD of the five vowels, &c.] In former editions : "Moth. The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth if I.


Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, I.

"Moth. The sheep: the other two concludes it; o, u.”

Is not the last and the fifth the same vowel? Though my correction restores but a poor conundrum, yet if it restores the poet's meaning, it is the duty of an editor to trace him in his lowest conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean—Oh, you--i. e. You are the sheep still, either way; no matter which of us repeats them. THEOBALD.


a quick VENEW of wit ;] A venew is the technical term for a bout at the fencing-school. So, in The Four Prentices of London, 1615:

"in the fencing-school

"To play a venew.”


A venue, as has already been observed, is the technical term used by fencers for a hit. "A sweet touch of wit, (says Armado,) a smart hit." So, in The Famous Historie of Captain Thomas Stukely, b. 1. 1605: “ for forfeits, and vennyes given, upon a wager, at the ninth button of your doublet, thirty crowns.'

[ocr errors]


Notwithstanding the positiveness with which my sense of the word venue is denied, my quotation sufficiently establishes it; for who ever talked of playing a hit in a fencing school? STEEVENS. See Mr. Steevens's note on "Three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes," Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I. Sc. I.: “ Veneys, i. e. venues, French. Three different set-tos, bouts (or hits, as Mr. Malone perhaps more properly explains the word), a technical term." MALONE.

Mr. Douce has corroborated Mr. Malone's explanation, by a number of examples. BosWELL.

snap, quick and home; it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit.

MOTH. Offer'd by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.

HOL. What is the figure? what is the figure? MOTH. Horns.

HOL. Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.

MOTH. Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about your infamy circùm circà1; A gig of a cuckold's horn!

COST. An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou half-penny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an the heavens were so pleased, that thou wert but my bastard! what a joyful father wouldst thou make me! Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they say.

HOL. O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.

ARM. Arts-man, præambula *; we will be singled from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the charge-house on the top of the mountain ?

HOL. Or, mons, the hill.


* Folio and quarto, preambulat.


7 - I will whip about your infamy circùm circà ;] So, as Dr. Farmer observes, in Greene's Quip for an upstart Courtier : He walked not as other men in the common beaten waye, but passing circum circa." The old copies read-unum cita.


STEEVENS. Here again all the editions give us jargon instead of Latin. But Moth would certainly mean-circum circa; i. e. about and about: though it may be designed he should mistake the terms.

[blocks in formation]


the CHARGE-HOUSE-] I suppose, is the free-school.


ARM. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
HOL. I do, sans question.

ARM. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and affection, to congratulate the princess at her pavilion, in the posteriors of this day; which the rude multitude call, the afternoon.

HOL. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the afternoon the word is well cull'd, chose; sweet and apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.

ARM. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman; and my familiar, I do assure you, very good friend :— For what is inward between us, let it pass :-I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ;-I beseech thee, apparel thy head';-and among other im

[ocr errors]

9 inward i. e. confidential, So, in K. Richard III.: "Who is most inward with the noble duke?" STEEvens. 'I do beseech thee, REMEMBER THY COURTESY ;-I beseech thee, apparel thy head:] I believe the word not was inadvertently omitted by the transcriber or compositor; and that we should read-I do beseech thee, remember not thy courtesy.-Armado is boasting of the familiarity with which the King treats him, and intimates ("but let that pass,") that when he and his Majesty converse, the King lays aside all state, and makes him wear his hat: "I do beseech thee, (will he say to me) remember not thy courtesy; do not observe any ceremony with me; be covered." "The putting off the hat at the table (says Florio, in his Second Frutes, 1591,) is a kind of courtesie or ceremonie rather to be avoided than otherwise."

These words may, however, be addressed by Armado to Holofernes, whom we may suppose to have stood uncovered from respect to the Spaniard.

If this was the poet's intention, they ought to be included in a parenthesis. To whomsoever the words are supposed to be addressed, the emendation appears to me equally necessary. It is confirmed by a passage in A Midsummer-Night's Dream: "Give me your neif, mounsier Mustardseed. Pray you, leave your courtesie, mounsier.”

In Hamlet, the prince, when he desires Osrick to “ put his bonnet to the right use," begins his address with the same words which Armado uses: but unluckily is interrupted by the courtier,

« AnteriorContinuar »