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Nym. 'Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may’: that is my rest *, that is the rendezvous of it.
BARD. It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly: and, certainly, she did you wrong; for you were troth-plight to her.
Nym. I cannot tell; things must be as they may: men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and, some say, knives have edges. It must be as it may: though patience be a tired mare', yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.
Enter Pistol and Mrs. Quickly. Bard. Here comes ancient Pistol, and his wife:good corporal, be patient here.—How now, mine host Pistol ?
Pist. Base tike , call'st thou me-host?
The humour of sworn brothers should be opened a little. In the time of adventure, it was usual for two chiefs to bind themselves to share in each other's fortune, and divide their acquisitions between them. So, in the Conqueror's expedition, Robert de Oily, and Roger de Ivery, were fratres jurati; and Robert gave one of the honours he received to his sworn brother Roger. So these three scoundrels set out for France, as if they were going to make a conquest of the kingdom. WHALLEY. 3
and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may :} Surely we ought to read, " I will die as I may." M. Mason.
4 that is my REST,] i. e. what I am resolved on. For a particular account of this phrase, see notes on Romeo and Juliet, vol. vi. p. 203, n. 6, and p. 242, n. 1. STEVENS.
patience be a tired mare,] The folio reads, by corruption, tired name, from which Sir T. Hanmer, sagaciously enough, derived tired dame. Mr. Theobald retrieved from the quarto, tired mare, the true reading. Johnson.
So, in Pierce's Supererogation, or a New Praise of the Old Asse, &c. : Silence is a slave in a chaine, and patience the common packhorse of the world.” STBEVENS.
6 Base Tike,] Tijk is the Runick word for a little, or worthless dog. So, in King Lear :
Now, by this hand I swear, I scorn the term;
Quick. No, by my troth, not long: for we cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentle. women, that live honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdyhouse straight. (Nym draws his sword.] O Lord ! here's corporal Nym's 1--now shall we have wilful
“ Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail." This word is still employed in Yorkshire, and means a clown, or rustick. So, in Henry Carey's ballad opera, entitled, The Wonder, an Honest Yorkshireman, 1736 :
If you can like
Steevens. In Minsheu's Dictionary, 1617, tike is defined, that sucks the blood.” It is now commonly spelt tick, an animal that infests sheep, dogs, &c. This may have been Pistol's term. Our author has the word in the sense Mr. Steevens has assigned to it, in King Lear; and it occurs with the other signification in Troilus and Cressida. Pistol's next speech, however, supports the former explanation. Malone.
7 O Lord! here's corporal Nym's.] Before these words, the folio has, “O well-a-day, Lady, if he be not hewn now," which the following notes refer to. Boswell.
The folio-hewn. If he be not hewn must signify, if he be not cut down ; and in that case the very thing is supposed which Quickly was apprehensive of. But I rather think her fright arises upon seeing the swords drawn, and I have ventured to make a slight alteration accordingly. “ If he be not drawn," for,
“ if he has not his sword drawn," is an expression familiar to our poet. THEOBALD.
The quarto omits this obscure passage, and only gives us,“ O Lord ! here's corporal Nym's" But as it cannot be ascertained which words (or whether any) were designedly excluded, I have left both exclamations in the text. Mrs. Quickly, without deviation from her character, may be supposed to utter repeated outcries on the same alarm. And yet I think we might read,“if he be not hewing.” To hack and hew is a common vulgar expression. So, in if you know not me you know Nobody, by Heywood, 1606: “ Bones o' me, he would hew it.” Again, in King Edward III. 1599 :
“ The sin is more to hack and hew poor men.” Again, in Froissart's Chronicle, cap. ccclv. fol. ccxxxiji.:
adultery and murder committed. Good lieutenant Bardolph®,-good corporal, offer nothing here.
“For they all to hewed the maryners, and dyde putte out their eyen, and so sente them to Gaunte, maymed as they were."
After all (as the late Mr. Guthrie observed) to be hewn might mean, to be drunk. There is yet a low phrase in use on the same occasion, which is not much unlike it; viz. “he is cut."“ Such a one was cut a little last night." So, in The Witty Fair One, by Shirley, 1633 : “ Then, sir, there is the cut of your leg.-
that's when a man is drunk, is it not? “Do not stagger in your judgment, for this cut is the grace of your body."
Again, in The London Chaunticleres, 1659 : “ -- when the cups of canary have made our heads frisk; oh how we shall foot it when we can scarce stand, and caper when we are cut in the leg!” Again, in Decker's Guls Hornbook, 1609: “— to accept the courtesy of the cellar when it is offered you by the drawers (and you must know that kindness never creepes upon them but when they see you almost cleft to the shoulders),” &c.
STEEVENS. I have here followed the quarto, because it requires no emen. dation. Here's corporal Nym's sword drawn, the Hostess would say, but she breaks off abruptly.
'The editor of the folio here, as in many other places, not understanding an abrupt passage, I believe, made out something that he conceived might have been intended. Instead of " 0 Lord,” to avoid the penalty of the statute, he inserted,
“ () well a-day, lady," and added, “ if he be not hewn now.” The latter word is evidently corrupt, and was probably printed, as Mr. Steevens conjectures, for hewing. But, for the reason already given, I have adhered to the quarto. Malone.
How would the editor of the folio have escaped profaneness by substituting Lady for Lord? for Lady is an exclamation on our blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary. Steevens.
The answer is, that he would not have been subject to the penalty laid in the statute, which prohibits introducing on the stage the name of God, our Saviour, or the Trinity; but says not a word about the Virgin Mary. MALONE,
8 Good LIEUTENANT, &c.] This sentence (except the word Bardolph) is in the folio given to Bardolph, to whom it is evident these words cannot belong, for he is himself, in this play, the lieutenant. Mr. Steevens proposes to solve the difficulty by reading-good ancient, supposing Pistol to be the person addressed. But it is clear, I think, from the quarto, that these words belong to the speech of the Hostess, who, seeing Nym's sword drawn, con
Pist. Pish for thee, Iceland dog'! thou prickeared curl of Iceland !
jures him and his friend Bardolph to use no violence. In the quarto, the words, " Good corporal Nym, show the valour of a man,” are immediately subjoined to~" now shall we have wilful adultery and murder committed.” Bardolph was probably an interlineation, and erroneously inserted before the words, “ good lieutenant," instead of being placed, as it now is, after them, Hence, he was considered as the speaker, instead of the person addressed. MALONE.
9 Iceland dog !] In the folio the word is spelt Island ; in the quarto, Iseland. Malone.
I believe we should read, Iceland dog. He seems to allude to an account credited in Elizabeth's time, that in the north there was a nation with human bodies and dogs' heads. Johnson.
The quartos confirm Dr. Johnson's conjecture. Steevens.
Iceland dog is probably the true reading; yet in Hakluyt's Voyages, we often meet with island. Drayton, in his Moon-calf, mentions water-dogs, and islands. And John Taylor dedicates his Sculler “ To the whole kennel of Antichrist's hounds, priests, friars, monks, and jesuites, mastiffs, mongrels, islands, bloodhounds, bob-taile tikes. FARMER.
Perhaps this kind of dog was then in vogue for the ladies to carry about with them. So, in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611 :
shall have jewels,
“ Enter Levitia, cum Pedisequa, her periwig of dog's hair white, &c.
“ Insa. A woman ? 'tis not a woman. The head is a dog ; 'tis a mermaid, half dog, half woman.
“ Par. No, 'tis but the hair of a dog in fashion, pulled from these Iceland dogs."
Again : for torturing of these Iceland imps, with eradicating their fleeces, thereby to enjoy the roots."
Again, in the Preface to Swetnam's Arraignment of Women, 1617 : - But if I had brought little dogs from Iceland, or fine glasses from Venice," &c.
It appears from a Proclamation in Rymer's Foedera, that in the reign of Henry V. the English had a fishery on the coasts of Norway and Iceland; and Holinshed, in his Description of Britain, p. 231, says, we have sholts or curs dailie brought out of Iseland." Steevens. Island (that is, Iceland] cur is again used as a term of con
Quick. Good corporal Nym, show the valour of a man, and put up thy sword.
Nym. Will you shog off?? I would have you solus.
[Sheathing his sword.
tempt in Epigrams served out in Fifty-two several Dishes, no date,
“ He wears a gown lac'd round, laid down with furre,
“ Could thrust his finger, but this island curre." See also Britannia Triumphans, a masque, 1636 :
she who hath been bred to stand
trundle-tails and prick-eared curs." STEBVENS. “There were newly come to the citie two young men that were Romans, which ranged up and downe the streetes, with their ears upright.” Painter's Palace of Pleasure. This is said of two sharpers, and seems to explain the term prick-eared.
HENDERSON. 2 Will you shog off ?) This cant word is used in Beaumont and Fletcher's Coxcomb:
“Come, pr'ythee, let us shog off." Again, in Pasquill and Katharine, 1601 :
thus it shogges," i. e. thus it goes.
these fained wordes agog
Thou lyest in thy throat and in thy guts.” Steevens, Sn, in Marston's Fawne, the Page says of his master Herod Frappatore, that he boasted of ving lyen with that, and that, and tother lady, &c. when poore I know all this while he only lied in his throat, BosweLL.