« PreviousContinue »
182. A foot of honour—J A step, un pas. Johnson. 185. —Sir Richard—] Thus the old copy, and rightly. In act iv. Salisbury calls him Sir Richard, and the king has just knighted him by that name. The modern editors arbitrarily read, Sir Robert. Faulconbridge is now entertaining himself with ideas of greatness, suggested by his recent knighthood.— Good den, Sir Richard, he supposes to be the salutation of a vassal, God-a-mercy, fellow, his own supercilious reply to it. STE Evens. 188. 'Tis too respešlive, &c.] i.e. respectful. So, in the old comedy called Michaelmas Term, 1607 : “Seem respective, to make his pride swell like a toad with dew.” So, in The Merchant of Venice, ačtv. “You should have been respečlive,” &c. Again, in The Case is alter'd, by Ben Jonson, 1609: “I pray you, sir; you are too respešlive, in good faith.” - STE Ev ENs. 189. For your conversing.—] The old copy reads—conversion, which may be right; meaning his late change of condition from a private gentleman to a knight. ST E E v ENs. Now your traveller,-] It is said in All's Well that Ends Well, that “a traveller is a good thing after dinner.” In that age of newly excited curiosity, one of the entertainments at great tables seems to have been the discourse of a traveller, Johns O N.
190. He and his tooth-pick-] It has been already remarked, that to pick the tooth, and wear a piqued beard, were, in that time, marks of a man affecting foreign fashions. Joh N so N. Among Gascoigne's poems I find one entitled, Councell given to Maister Bartholomew Withipoll, a little before his latter journey to Geane, 1572. The following lines may, perhaps, be acceptable to the reader who is curious enough to inquire about the fashionable follies imported in that age : “Now, sir, if I shall see your mastership “Come home disguis'd, and clad in quaint array ;- “As with a pike-tooth byting on your lippe ; “Your brave mustachios turn'd the Turkie way; “A coptankt hat made on a Flemish blocke; “A night-gowne cloake down trayling to your toes; * A slender slop close couched to your dock; “A curtolde slipper, and a short silk hose,” &c. gain, in Cinthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson, 1601: “—A traveller, one so made out of the mixture and shreds and forms that himself is truly deformed. He walks most commonly with a clove or pick-tooth in his mouth.” Again, in The Honest Man's Fortune, by Beaumont and Fletcher : “You have travell'd like a fidler, to make faces;
So, in Sir Thomas Overbury's Charaćlers, 1616 [Article, An Affetled Traveller] : “He censures all things by countenances and shrugs, and speaks his own language with shame and lisping; he will choke rather than confess beere good drink; and his tooth-pick is a main part of his behaviour.” MAlone.
103. My piked man of countries:—] The word piked may not refer to the beard, but to the shoes, which were once worn of an immoderate length. To this fashion our author has alluded in King Lear, where the reader will find a more ample explanation. Piked may, however, mean only spruce in dress.
Chaucer says in one of his prologues:—“Fresh and new her geare ypiked was.” And in the Merchant's Tale:—“He kempeth him, and proineth him, and piketh.” In Hyrd's translation of Wive's Instruction of a Christian Woman, printed in 1591, we meet with “picked and apparelled goodly—goodly and pickedly arrayed.—Licurgus, when he would have women of his country to be regarded by their virtue and not their ornaments, banished out of the country by the law, all painting, and commanded out of the town all crafty men of picking and apparelling.” Again, in a comedy called All Fools, by Chapman, 1602:
“'Tis such a picked fellow, not a haire
Again, in Love's Labour Lost : “He is too piqued, too spruce,” &c. Again, in Greene's Defence of Coney-catching, 1592, in the description of a pretended - traveller: