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Sir To. A love-song, a love-fong.
O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,
That can fing both high and low :
Every wife man's fon doth know.
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come, is still unsure :
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
Sir To. To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion, But shall we make the welkin dance indeed ? Shall we rouse the night owl in a catch, that will draw three souls out of one weaver ? 9 shall we do that?
Sir Good life, I believe, is harmless mirth and jollity. It may be a Gallicism : we call a jolly fellow a bon vivant, STEEVENS.
From the opposition of the words in the Clown's question, I incline to think that good life is here used in its usual acceptation. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, these words are used for a virtuous charakter.
MALONE . 7 No man will ever be worth much, who delays the advantages offered by the present hour, in hopes that the future will offer more.
STEEVENS. 8 This line is obscure; we might read:
Come, a kiss tben, sweet and twenty, Yet I know nor whether the present reading be not right, for in some counties sweet and twenty, whatever be the meaning, is a phrase of endearment. JOHNSON. ? Our author represents weavers as much given to harmony in his time.
Sir And. An you love me, let's do't : I am dog at a ca:ch.
Clo. Hold thy peace, thou knave, knight? I snall be conftrain’d in’t to call thee krave, knight,
Sir And. 'Tis not the first tiine I have constrain'd one to call me knave. Begin, fool ; it begins, Hold thy peace.
Clo. I shall never begin, if I hold my peace.
[They fing a Catch.
Enter I have shewn the cause of it elsewhere. This expression of the power of mufck is familiar with our author. Much ado about Nothing : " Now is kis foul ravished. Is it not ftrange that meet's-guts should bale souls out of men's bodies - Why, he says, three fouls, is because he is speaking of a catch of tbree parts; and the peripatetic philosophy, then in vogue, very - liberally gave every man three souls. The vegetative or plastic, the animal, and the rational. To this, too, Jonfon alludes, in his Poetaster : “ Wbat, will I turn shark upon my friends or my friends friends? I scorn it with my - three foulse”By the mention of these three, therefore, we may suppose it was Shakspeare's purpose, to hint to us those surprizing effects of musick, which the ancients speak of, when they tell us of Amphion, who moved ftones and trees; Orpheus and Arion, who tamed Savage beasts; and Timotheus, who governed, as he pleased, the passions of bis human auditors, So noble an observation has our author conveyed in the ribaldry of this buffoon character. WARBURTON
In a popular book of the time, Carew's translation of Huarte's Trial of - Wits, 1594, there is a curious chapter concerning the three fouls,
veges tative, fenfit.ve, and reasonable.” FARMER.
I doubt whether our author intended any allusion to this division of fouls. Dr. Warburton's supposition that there is an allufion to the catch being in tbree parts, appears to me one of his unfounded refinements.
MALONE. 2 They fing a catch.) This catch is loft. Johnson.
A catch is a species of vocal harmony to be sung by three or more perfons; and is so contrived, that though each fings precisely the same notes as his fellows, yet by biginning at stated periods of time from each other, there results from the performance a harmony of as many parts as there are fingers. Compositions of this kind are, in ftrictness, called Canons in the urison; and as properly, Catches, when the words in the different parts are made to catch or answer each other. One of the most remarkable examples of a tiue catch is that of Purcel, Let's live good bones lives, in which, immediately after one person has uttered these words, “What need we fear the Pope ?" another in the course of his singing fills up a Jeft which the first makes, with the words, “ The devil.”
Enter MARIA. Mar. What a catterwauling do you keep here!. If my lady have not call'd up her steward, Malvolio, and bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.
Sir To. My lady's a Cataian, we are politicians; Malvolio's a Peg-a-Ramsey, 4 and Three merry men be wens Am not
I conThe catch above-mentioned to be fung by fir Toby, Gr Andrew, and the Clown, from the hints given of it, appears to be lo contrived as that each of the fingers calls the other knave in turn; and for this the clown means to apologize to the knight, when he says, that he hhall be constrained to call him knave. I have here fubjoined the very catch, with the musical notes to which it was fung in the time of Shakspeare, and at the original performance of this Comedy:.
A 3 voc.
Hold thy peace and I pree thee hold thy peace ?
उन Thou knave, thou knave : hold thy peace thou knave: The evidence of its authenticity is as follows. There is extant a book entitled, “PAMMELIA, Mufickes Miscellanie, or mixed Varietie of pleasant Roundelays and delightful catches of 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10 parts in ore." Of this book there are at least two editions, the second printed in 1618. In 1609, a second part of this book was published with the title of DEU. TEROMELIA, and in this book is contained the catch above given.
Sir J. HAWKINS: 3 It is in vain to seek the precise meaning of this term of reproach. I have already attempted to explain it in a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor. I find it used again in Love and Honour, by Sir W. D'Avenant, 1649:
“ Hang him, bold Cataian." STEEVINS. 4 In Durfey's Pills to purge Melancholy is a very obscene old song, entitled Peg-a-Ramsey. See also Ward's Lives of obe Professors of Grejban College, p. 207. Percy,
I consanguineous ? ain I not of her blood ? Tilly-valley lady! 6. There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady! 7
Clo. Nath mentions Peg of Ramsey among feveral other ballads, viz. Rogeri, Basilino, Turkelony, All obe Acrvers of be Broom, Pepper is. Bluck, Green Sleeves, Peggie Ramsie. It appears from the same author, that it was likewise a dance performed to the music of a song of that name.
STEEVENS. Peggy Ramsey, is the name of some old song; the following is the tune to it:
Sir J. HAWKINS. 5 Three merry men be we, is likewise a fragment of some old fong.
STEEVENS. This is a conclufion common to many old songs. One of the most hus morous that I can recollect, is the following:
• The wise men were but feaven, nor more shall be for me ;
merry boyes are wee,
merry girles are wee,” There are ale-Houses in one of the villages in this kingdom, that have the fign of The Tisree Alcrry Boys; there was onc at Highgate in my memory. SIR J. HAWKINS.
Three merry men be que, mas, perhaps, have been taken originally from the song of Robin Hood and the manner. TYRWHITT.
6 Tilly-valley was an interjection of contempt, which :Sir: Thomas More's lady is recorded to have bad very often in her mouth. JOHNSON:
Tilly-valley is uted as an interjection of contempt in the old play of Sir John Oldcaftle; and is likewise a character in a comedy-intituled Body limony. Tillie volle may be a corruption of the Roman word" (without a VoLol,
Clo. Beshrew me, the knight's in adınirable fooling.
Sir And. Ay, he does well enough, if he be dispos'd, and so do I too; he does it with a better grace, but I do it more natural.
Sir To. O, the twelfth Day of December, [Singing.
Sir To. We did keep time, fir, in our catches. Sneck up!' B
Mal. precise meaning, but indicative of contempt) Titivilitium. See the Cafina of Plautus, 2. 5. 39. STLEVENS.
Tilly-walley is a hunting phrase borrowed from the French. In the Ver:erie de Jacques Fouilloux, 1585, 4to. fo. 12. the following cry is men. tioned : " Ty a hillaut & vallecy;" and is set to music in pp. 49 and 52.0
Douce. * The ballad of Susanna, whence this line is taken, was licensed by T. Colwell, in 1562, under the title of the goodly and confiant wyfe Susanrs. There is likewise a play on this subject. T. WARTON.
Maria's use of the word lady brings the ballad to fir Toby's remembrance : Lady, lady, is the buriben, and should be printed as such. My very ingenious friend, Dr, Percy, has given a stanza of it in his Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. I. p. 204. Jult the same may be said, where Mercu. sio applies it, in Romeo and Juliet, A& Il sc. iy. FARMER.
This song, or, at least, one with the same burthen, is alluded to in B. Jonson's Magnetic Lady, Vol. IV. P 449. TYRWHITT.
The olde & song that I have seen with this burthen is in the old Mora. lity, entitted The Trial of Treafure, 4to, 1567. Malon!
A cozier is a tailor, from coudre to sew, past. cousu, Fr. Jounson. Our author has again alluded to their love of vocal harmony in King Henry IV. P. I. A cozier, it appears from Minshieu, signified a borcber, or mender of old clothes, and also a cobler.Here it means the former.
NALONI. Minhieu tells us, that sozier is a cobler or lowter : and, in Northamptonshire, the waxed thread which a cobler uses in mending shoes, we call açadger's end. WHALLIY,
A rcxiers' end is till ufed in Devonshire for a cobler's end. HENLEY.
It seems to be equivalent to the phrase of