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Flu. By your patience, ancient Pistol. Fortune is painted plind, with a muffler before her eyes, to signify to you that fortune is plind 8: And she is
- bred in sacred brest “ Of him that rules the restlesse-rolling skie." STEEVENS. For this idea our author seems indebted to The Spanish Tragedy :
“ Fortune is blind,
“Whose foot is standing on a rolling stone.” Ritson. 3 Fortune is painted PLIND, with a MUFFLER before her eyes, to signify to you that fortune is plind :) Here the fool of a player was for making a joke, as Hamlet says, not set down for him, and showing a most pitiful ambition to be witty. For Fluellen, though he speaks with his country accent, yet is all the way represented as a man of good plain sense. Therefore, as it appears he knew the meaning
of the term plind, by his use of it, he could never have said that “ Fortune was painted plind, to signify she was plind.” He might as well have said afterwards, “that she was painted inconstant to signify she was inconstant.” But there he speaks sense; and so, unquestionably, he did here. We should therefore strike out the first plind, and read :
“ Fortune is painted with a muffler,” &c. WARBURTON. The old reading is the true one.
Fortune the goddess is represented blind, to show that fortune, or the chance of life, is without discernment. STEEVENS.
The picture of Fortune is taken from the old history of Fortu-, natus ; where she is described to be a fair woman, mufsled over the eyes. FARMER.
A muffler appears to have been a fold of linen which partially covered a woman's face. So, in Monsieur Thomas, 1639:
“ On with my muffler."
STEEVENS. Minsheu, in his Dictionary, 1617, explains "a woman's muffler," by the French word cachenez, which Cotgrave defines " a kind of mask for the face ; " yet, I believe, it was made of linen, and that Minsheu only means to compare it to a mask, because they both might conceal part of the face. It was, I believe, a kind of hood, of the same form as the riding-hood now sometimes worn by men, that covered the shoulders, and a great part of the face. This agrees with the only other passage in which the word occurs in these plays : “-I spy a great beard under her muffler." Merry Wives of Windsor. See also the verses cited from the Cobler's Prophecy, vol. iv. p. 273 :
painted also with a wheel : to signify to you, which is the moral of it, that she is turning, and inconstant, and variations, and mutabilities : and her foot, look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and rolls, and rolls ;-In good truth *, the poet is make a most excellent description of fortune: fortune, look you, is an excellent moral. Pist. Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on
him ; For he hath stoľn a pir', and hanged must 'a be.
“ Now is she barefast to be seene, straight on her muffler
5 For he hath stol'n a pix,] The old editions read-par. “ And this is conformable to history," says Mr. Pope, “a soldier (as Hall tells us) being hanged at this time for such a fact.”
Both Hall and Holinshed agree as to the point of the theft ; but as to the thing stolen, there is not that conformity betwixt them and Mr. Pope. It was an ancient custom, at the celebration of mass, that when the priest pronounced these words, “ Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum!” both clergy and people kissed one another. And this was called Osculum Pacis, the Kiss of Peace. But that custom being abrogated, a certain image is now presented to be kissed, which is called a Par. But it was not this image which Bardolph stole ; it was a pix, or little chest, (from the Latin word, pixis, a box,) in which the consecrated host was used to be kept.“ A foolish soldier," says Hall expressly, and Holinshed after him, “stole a pix out of a church, and unreverently did eat the holy hostes within the same contained." TheoBALD.
What Theobald says is true, but might have been told in fewer words : I have examined the passage in Hall. Yet Dr, Warburton rejected that emendation, and continued Pope's note without animadversion.
It is pax in the folio, 1623, but altered to pix by Theobald and Sir T. 'Hanmer. They signified the same thing. See Pax at Mass, Minsheu's Guide into the Tongues. Pic or par was a little box in which were kept the consecrated wafers. Johnson,
So, in May-Day, a comedy, by Chapman, 1611 : “– Kiss the pat, and be quiet, like your other neighbours."
bles hare ca
The which a kiss
That he assi
and the Wored,
A damned death!
So, in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601 :
“ Then with this hallow'd crucifix,
“ This holy wafer, and this pix.” That a pix and a par were different things, may also be seen from the following passage in The History of our Blessed Lady of Loretto, 12mo. 1608, p. 595 : “-a cup, and a sprinkle for holy water, a pix and a pax, all of excellent chrystal, gold and amber."
Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 677: "- palmes, chalices, crosses, vestments, pixes, pares, and such like." STEBVENS.
Pix is apparently right. In Henry the VIlth's will it is said : “ Forasmoch as we have often and many tymes to our inwarde regrete and displeasure seen at our Jen, in diverse many churches of our reame, the holie sacrament of the aulter, kept in ful simple, and inhonest pixes, spicially pires of copre and tymbre ; we have appointed and commaunded the treasurer of our chambre, and maistre of our juell-houss, to cause to be made furthwith, pixes of silver and gilt, in a greate nombre, for the keeping of the holie sacrament of the aultre, after the faction of a pice that we have caused to be delivered to theim. Every of the said pixes to be of the value of mil. garnished with our armes, and rede roses and poart-colis crowned.” P. 38. Reed.
The old copies have pat, which was a piece of board on which the image of Christ on the cross; which the people used to kiss after the service was ended.
I have adopted Mr. Theobald's emendation, for the reason which he assigns.
Holinshed (whom our author followed) says, a foolish soldier stole a pi.re out of a church, for which cause he was apprehended, and the king would not once more remove till the box was restored, and the offender strangled.”
The following, as Mr. Tyrwhitt has elsewhere observed, is one of the Ordinances des Battailes, 9 R. II. :
Item, que nul soit si hardi de toucher le corps de noster Seigneur, ni le vessel en quel il est, sur peine d'estre trainez et pendu, et le teste avoir coupé." MS. Cotton, Nero, D6.
With edge of penny cord, and vile reproach:
Flu. Ancient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
Pist. Why then rejoice therefore .
Flu. Certainly, ancient, it is not a thing to rejoice at: for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the duke to use his goot pleasure, and put him to executions; for disciplines ought to be used.
Pist. Die and be damn'd; and figo for thy friend
Flu. It is well.
[Exit Pistol. 6 Why then rejoice therefore.] This passage, with several others in the character of Pistol, is ridiculed by Ben Jonson, in The Poetaster, as follows :
Why then lament therefore ; damn'd be thy guts “ Unto king Pluto's hell, and princely Erebus ;
“For sparrows must have food.” Steevens. The former part of this psssage, in The Poetaster, seems rather to be a parody on one of Pistols in King Henry IV. Part II. p. 224 : “Why then lament therefore." But probably in both cases our author had in his thoughts a very contemptible play of Marlow's, The Massacre of Paris :
“The Guise is dead, and I rejoice therefore." MALONE.
Figo for thy friendship!) This expression occurs likewise in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1610 :
water at the dock; “A fico for her dock." Again :
“ A fico for the sun and moon.” Steevens. & The Fig of Spain!] This is no allusion to the fico already explained in King Henry IV. Part II. but to the custom of giving poisoned figs to those who were the objects either of Spanish or Italian revenge. The quartos 1600 and 1608 read : «
The fig of Spain within thy jaw :" and afterwards : “ The fig within thy bowels and thy dirty maw.” So, in The Fleire, 1610, a comedy :
“ Fel. Give them a fig:
“ Flo. Make them drink their last.
“ Poison them." Again, in The Brothers, by Shirley, 1652:
Flu. Very good
Gow. Why, this is an arrant counterfeit rascal; I remember him now; a bawd ; a cutpurse.
Flu. I'll assure you, 'a utter'd as prave 'ords at
2, I and
“ I must poison him; one fig sends him to Erebus." Again, in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour:
“ The lye to a man of my coat, is as ominous a fruit as the
Again, in one of Gascoigne's Poems :
“ It may fall out that thou shalt be entic'd
“ And have a fico foisted in thy dish,” &c.
• Cor. Now do I look for a fig.
“ Gaz. Chew none, fear nothing." And the scene of this play lies at Seville. Again, in The Noble Soldier, 1634 :
“ — Is it (poison) speeding ?
“ As all our Spanish figs are.'
“She gave the Spanish figge,
With both her thumbes at once,” saith Dant.
And a note says, “ Fiche is the thrusting of the thumbe betweene the forefinger; which eyther for the worde, or the remembrance of something thereby signified, is reputed amongst the Italians as a word of shame.” Reed. And, in Fulwell's Art of Flattery :
“ And thus farewell I will returne
“ To lady hope agayne ;
" A doting fig of Spayne." Henley.
9- Very good.] "Instead of these two words, the quartos read “ Captain Gower, cannot you hear it lighten and thunder?"