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Hol. Novi bominem tanquam te: His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical.' He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it. NATH. A most singular and choice epithet.
[Takes out his table-book. Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
bis tongue filed,] Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser, are frequent in their use of this phrase. Ben Jonson has it likewise.
STEEVENS. 9 thrasonical.] The use of the word thrasonical is no argument that the author had read Terence. It was introduced to our language long before Shakspeare's time. Farmer.
It is found in Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616. MALONE.
2 He is too picked,] To have the beard piqued or shorn so as to end in a point, was, in our authour's time, a mark of a traveller affecting foreign fashions : so says the Bastard in K. John:
I cathechile “ My piqued man of countries." Johnson. See a note on K. John, Act I. and another on K. Lear, where the reader will find the epithet piqued differently spelt and interpreted.
Piqued may allude to the length of the shoes then worn. Bulwer, in his Artificial Changeling, says: “ We weare our forked shoes almost as long again as our feete, not a little to the hindrance of the action of the foote ; and not only so, but they prove an impediment to reverentiall devotion, for our bootes and shooes are so long snouted, that we can hardly kneele in God's house."
STEEVENS. I believe picked (for so it should be written) fignifies nicely drejt in general, without reference to any particular fashion of dress. It is a metaphor taken from birds, who dress themselves by picking out or pruning, their broken or superfluous feathers. So Chaucer ules the word, in his description of Damian dresiing himself, Cant. Tales, ver. 9885:“ He kembeth him, he praineth him and piketh." And Shakspeare in this very play, uses the corresponding word pruning for drefling, Act IV. fc. iii:
or spend a minute's time In pruning me
fanatical phantasms, such infociable and pointdevise * companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak, dout, fine, when he should say, doubt; det, when he should pronounce, debt; d, e, b, t; not, d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbour, vocatur, nebour; neigh, abbreviated, ne: This is abhominable, (which he would call abominable,) it insinuateth me of insanie;" Ne intelligis domine ? to make frantick, lunatick.
The substantive pickedress is used by Ben Jonson for nicety in dress. Discoveries, Vol. VII. Whalley's edit. p. 116: “
too much pickedness is not manly." TYRWHITT.
Again, in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593: “ — he might have showed a picked effeminate carpet knight, under the fictionate person of Hermaphroditus.” MALONE. 3
phantasms,] See Act IV. sc. i:
point-devile -] A French expression for the utmost, or finical exactness. So, in I welfih Night, Malvolio says:
“ I will be point-device, the very man.” STEEVENS. 5 This is abhominable, &c.] He has here well imitated the language of the most redoubtable pedants of that time. On such fort of occasions, Joseph Scaliger used to break out, Abominor, execror. Afinitas mera eft, impietas,” &c. and calls his adversary, ftercore maceratum, dæmoniacum recrementum inscitiæ, Aerquilinium, ftercus diaboli, scarabæum, larvam, pecus poftremum beftiaruin, infame propudium, xúdapest." WARBURTON.
Shakspeare knew nothing of this language; and the resemblance which Dr. Warburton finds, if it deserves that title, is quite accidental. It is far more probable, that he means to ridicule the foppish manner of speaking, and affected pronunciation, introduced at court by Lyly and his imitators.
abbominable,] Thus the word is constantly spelt in the old moralities and other antiquated books. So, in Lufty Juventus, 1561:
“ And then I will bryng in
“ Abhominable lyving." STEEVENS. 6 - it infinuateth me of infanie; &c.] In former editions, it infinuateth me of infamie: Ne intelligis, domine ? to make frantick, lunatick.
Nath. Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
Nath. Laus deo, bone intelligo.
Hol. Bone ? — bone, for benè : Prifcian a little scratch’d; 'twill serve.
Enter ARMADO, Moth, and Costard.
Nath. Videsne quis venit?
[7. Moth. Hol. Quare Chirra, not firrah? Arm. Men of peace, well encounter'd. .
serve.] Why should infamy be explained by making frantick, luna. tick? It is plain and obvious that the poet intended the pedant Thould coin an uncouth affected word here, infanie, from injania of the Latins. Then, what a piece of unintelligible jargon have these learned criticks given us for Latin? I think, I may venture to affirm, I have restored the paisage to its true purity.
Nath. Laus Deo, bone, intelligo.
The curate, addressing with complaisance his brother pedant, says, bone, to him, as we frequently in Terence find bone vir; but the pedant, thinking he had mistaken the adverb, thus descants
Bone? -bone for bene. Priscian a little scratched : 'twill serve. Alluding to the common phrase, Diminuis Prisciani caput, applied to such as speak false Latin. TheoBALD.
There seems yet something wanting to the integrity of this parfage, which Mr. Theobald has in the most corrupt and difficult places very happily restored. For ne intelligis domine? to make frantick, lunatick, I read (nonne intelligis, domine??) to be mad, frantick, lunatick. Johnson.
Insanie appears to have been a word anciently used. In a book entitled, The Fall and evil Succefle of Rebellion from Time to Time, &c. written in verse by Wilfride Holme, imprinted at London by Henry Bynneman; without date, (though from the concluding stanza, it appears to have been produced in the 8th year of the reign of Henry VIII.) I find the word used :
• In the days of sixth Henry, Jack Cade made a brag, “ With a multitude of people; but in the consequence, “ After a little in janic they fled tag
rag, • For Alexander Iden he did his diligence.' STEEVENS, I should rather read_" it insinuateth men of insanie.”
Hol. Most military fir, falutation.
Moth. They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.' [To Costarp aside.
Cost. O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words !? I marvel, thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus : & thou art eafier swallowed than a fap-dragon.'
Moth. Peace; the peal begins.
Hol. Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.) So, in Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, by Thomas Nashe, 1594: “ The phrase of fermons, as it ought to agree with the scripture, so heed must be taken, that their whole fermon seem not a banquet of the broken fragments of scripture." MALONE.
-the alms-basket of words ! ] i. e. the refuse of words. The refuse meat of great families was formerly fent to the prisons. So, in The Inner Temple Masque, 1619, by T. Middleton: “ his perpetual lodging in the King's Bench, and his ordinary out of the basket.” Again, in If this be not a good Play the Devil is in It, 1612: “ He must feed on beggary's basket." STEEVENS. The refuse meat of families was put
into a basket in our author's time, and given to the poor. So, in Florio’s Second Frutes, 1591 : “ Take away the table, fould up the cloth, and put all those pieces of broken meat into a basket for the poor.” MALONE.
8 — honorificabilitudinitatibus : ] This word, whencesoever it comes, is often mentioned as the longeit word known. JOHNSON.
It occurs likewise in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604:
“ His discourse is like the long word honorificabilitudinitatibus; a great deal of sound and no sense.” I meet with it likewise in Nath's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599. Steevens.
a flap-dragon.] A flap-dragon is a small inflammable substance, which topers swallow in a glass of wine. See a note on K. Henry IV. P. II, AQ II. sc. ult. Steevens.
MOT!. Ba, moft filly sheep, with a horn :-You hear his learning.
Hol. Quis, quis, thou consonant?
Moth. The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth, if I.
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, i.-
Arm. Now, by the falt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit:: snip, snap, quick and home; it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit.
Moth. Offer'd by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.
Hol. What is the figure? what is the figure?
2 Moth. The third of the five vowels, &c.] In former editions : The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth, if I.
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, 1,-
Is not the last and the fifth the same rowe!? Though my correction restores but a poor conundrum, yet if it restores the poet's meaning, it is the duty of an editor to trace him in his lowest conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean-Ch, you—i. e. You are the sheep ftill, either way; no matter which of us repeats them.
THEOBALD. a quick venew of wit:] A venew is the technical term for a bout at the fencing-school. So, ' in 'The Four Prentices of London, 1615:
in the fencing-school “ To play a'venew.
STEEVENS. A venue, as has already been observed, is not a bout at fencing, but a hit. “ A sweet touch of wit, (fays Armado,) a smart hit.' So, in The Famous Historie of Captain Thomas Stukely, b. 1. 1605:
for forfeits, and vennyes given, upon a wager, at the ninth button of your doublet, thirty crowns.” MALONE.
Notwithstanding the positiveness with which my sense of the word venue is denied, my quotation fufficiently establishes it; for who ever talked of playing a hit in a fencing school? STEEVENS,