Page images
PDF

traveller: “There be in England, especially about London, certain quaint pickt, and neat companions, attired, &c. alamode de France,” &c. If a comma be placed after the word man:— * I catechize “My picked man, of countries.” the passage will seem to mean, “I catechise my sele&ted man, about the countries through which he travelled.” STE evens. 196. —like an ABC-book: J. An ABC-book, or as they spoke and wrote it, an absey-book, is a catechism. Joh N son. So, in the ancient Interlude of 2%uth, bl. let. no date : “In the A. B. C. of bokes the least, “Yt is written, deus charitas est.” Again, in Tho. Nash's dedication to Greene's Arcadia, 1616 :

make a patrimony of In speech, and more than a younger brother's inheritance of their Alcie.” STE E V ENS. 2co. And so, e'er answer knows what question would (Saving in dialogue of compliment;] Sir W. Cornwallis's 28th essay thus ridicules the extravagance of compliments in our poet's days, 1601 : “We spend even at his (i.e. a friend's or a stranger's) entrance, a whole volume of words.-What a deal of synamon and ginger is sacrificed to dissimulation 1 Oh, how &lessed do I take mine eyes for presenting me with this sight ! 0 Signior, the star that governs my life in contentment, give me leave to interre myself in your arms 1—Not so, sir, it is too unworthy an inclosure to contain such preciousness, &c. &c. This, and a cup of drink, makes the time as fit for a departure as can be. To LleT. 214. Which though, &c.] The construction will be mended, if instead of which though, we read this though. Johnson. 217. But who comes, &c.—] Milton, in his tragedy, introduces Dalilah with such an interrogatory exclamation. - Johnson. 219. —to blow a horn—] He means, that a wo. man who travelled about like a post, was likely to horn her husband. Joh N son. 225. Colbrand—J Colbrand was a Danish giant, whom Guy of Warwick discomfited in the presence of king Athelstan. The combat is very pompously described by Drayton in his Polyolbion. Jo HN son. 231. Good leave, &c.] Good leave means a ready assent. So, in King Henry VI. Part III. ačt iii. scene 2. “K. Edw, Lords, give us leave : I’ll try this widow's wit.

“Glo. Ay, good leave have you, for you will have leave.” STE Eve Ns. 232. Philip s—sparrow 1–7ames, J. Dr. Grey. observes, that Skelton has a poem to the memory of Philip Sparrow ; and Mr. Pope in a short note remarks that a Sparrow is called Philip. Johnson, Gascoigne has likewise a poem, entitled, 7%e Praise of Phil. Sparrow; and in Jack Drum’s Entertainment,

1601, is the following passage : ** The “The birds sit chirping, chirping, &c. “Philip is treading, treading,” &c. Again, in the Northern Lass, 1633: “A bird whose pastime made me glad, “And Philip ’twas my sparrow.” Again, in Magnificence, an ancient Interlude by Skelton, published by Rastell ; “With me in kepynge such a Phylyp Sparowe.” STEEVEN 8. 233. There's toys abroad; &c.] i.e. rumours, idle reports. So, in B. Jonson's Sejanus: “—Toys, mere toys, “What wisdom’s in the streets.” So, in a postscript to a letter from the countess of Essex to Dr. Forman, in relation to the trial of Anne Turner, for the murder of Sir Tho. Overbury : “ they may tell my father and mother, and fill their ears full of toys.” State Trials, vol. i. p. 322. - STE E v ENS. might have eat his part in me Upon good-Friday, and ne'er broke his fast:) This thought occurs in Heywoods's Dialogues upon Proverbs, 1562 :

235.

“—he may his parte on good Fridaie eate, “And fast never the wurs, for ought he shall geate.” STE E V EN's

245. Knight, knight, good mother—Basilisco-like: ] Thus must this passage be pointed; and to come at the humour of it, I must clear up an old circumstance of stage-history. Faulconbridge's words here carry a - concealed concealed piece of satire on a stupid drama of that age, printed in 1599, and called Soliman and Perseda. In this piece there is a character of a bragging coward. ly knight, called Basilisco. His pretension to valour is so blown, and seen through, that Piston, a buffoon-servant in the play, jumps upon his back, and will not disengage him, till he makes Basilisco swear upon his dudgeon dagger to the contents, and in the terms he dictates to him: as, for instance ; “Bas. O, I swear, I swear. “Pist. By the contents of this blade, “Bas. By the contents of this blade. * Pist. I, the foresaid Basilisco. “Bas. I, the aforesaid Basilisco, knight good fellow, knight, knight—“Pist, Knave, good fellow, knave, knave.” So that it is clear, our poet is sneering at this play; and makes Philip, when his mother calls him #nave, throw off that reproach by humorously laying claim to his new dignity of knighthood; as Basilisco arrogantly insists on his title of knight in the passage above quoted. The old play is an execrable bad one; and, I suppose, was sufficiently exploded in the representation: which might make this circumstance so well known, as to become the butt for a stage-sarcasm. Theob ALD. The charaćter of Basilisco is mentioned in Nash's Have with you to Saffron-Walden, &c, printed in 1596. . STEEvens,

262. Some sins—J There are sins, that whatever be determined of them above, are not much censured on earth. - Johnson. 264. Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose, &c. Against whose fury and unmatched force The awless lion could not wage the fight, &c.] Shakspere here alludes to the metrical romance of Richard Carur de Lion, wherein this once celebrated monarch is related to have acquired his distinguishing appellation, by having plucked out a lion's heart to whose fury he was exposed by the duke of Austria, for having slain his son with a blow of his fist. From this ancient romance the story has crept into some of our old chronicles: but the original passage may be een at large in the introdućtion to the third volume of Reliques of ancient English Poetry. PERc Y.

A CT II.

Iine 3. Richa R D, that rood, &c. So, Rastal in his Chronicle: “It is sayd that a lyon was put to kynge Richard, beynge in prison, to have devoured him, and when the lyon was gapynge he put his arme in his mouth, and pulled the lyon by the harte so hard that he slewe the lyon, and therefore some say he is called Rycharde Cure de Lyon; but some say he is called Cure de Lyon, because of his boldness and hardy stomake.” **. GREY. o I have

« PreviousContinue »