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Line 1. ENTER Armado and Moth.] In the folios the direction is, Enter Braggart and Moth, and at the be. ginning of every speech of Armado stands Brag, both in this and the foregoing scene between him and his boy. The other personages of this play are likewise noted by their characters as often as by their names. All this confusion has been well regulated by the later editors.
JOHNSON. Concolinel -] Here is apparently a song lost.
JOHNSON I have observed in the old comedies, that the songs are frequently omitted. On this occasion the stage direction is generally-Here they sing—or Cantant. Probably the performer was left to choose his own ditty, and therefore it could not with propriety be exhibited as part of a new performance. Sometimes yet more was left to the discretion of the ancient comedians, as I learn from the following circumstance in K. Edward IV. Part II. 1619 :-“ Jockey is led whipping over the stage, speaking some words, but of no importance." Again, in Greene's Tu Quoque, 1599 :
“ Here they two talk and rail what they list." Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635 :
“He places all things in order, singing with the ends of old ballads as he does it."
Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604:
“ Cantat Gallice." But no song is set down. Again, in the 5th act:
“ Cantat saltatque cum Cithara." Not one out of the many songs supposed to be sung in Marston's Antonio's Revenge, 1609, are inserted ; but instead of them, cantant.
STEEVENS. 5. ---festinately hither ;] i. c. hastily. Shakspere uses the adjective festinate, in another of his plays.
STEEVENS, 7. - French brawl ?] A brawl is a kind of dance.
In the Malcontent of Marston, I meet with the fol. lowing account of it. “ The brawl, why 'tis but two singles to the left, two on the right, three doubles forwards, a traverse of six rounds : do this twice, three singles side galliard trick of twenty coranto pace; a figure of eight, three singles broken down, come up, meet two doubles, fall back, and then honour." Again, in B. Jonson's masque of Time Vindicated :
« The Graces did them footing teach;
STBEVENS. So, in Massinger's Picture, act ii. sc. 8.
« 'Tis a French brawl, an apish imitation
TOLLET. -canary to it with your feet, -] Canary was the name of a spritely nimble dance. THEOBALD.
19. like a man after the old painting ;-] It was a common trick among some of the most indolent of the ancient masters, to place the hands in the bosom or the pockets, or conceal them in some other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of representing them, or to disguise their own want of skill to employ them with grace and propriety,
STEEVENS. 21. These are complements, -] Dr. Wars burton has here changed complernents to 'complishinents, for accomplishments, but unnecessarily. JOHNSON.
these betray, &c.] The fornier editors : Tommthese betray nice wenches, that would be betray'd without these, and make them men of note. But who will ever believe, that the odd attitudes and affecta. tions of lovers, by which they betray young wenches, should have power to make these young wenches, men of nate? His meaning is, that they not only inveigle the young girls, but make the men taken notice of too, who affect them.
THEOBALD. 30. but a colt, -] Colt is a hot, mad-brained, unbroken young fellow; or sometimes an old fellow with youthful desires.
JOHNSON 61.. You are too swift, sir, to say so.] The meaning, I believe, is, You do not give yourself time to think, if you say so.
Swift, however, means ready at replies. So, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604:
“ I have eaten but two spoonfuls, and methinks I could discourse both swiftly and wittily already...
Swift is here used, as in other places, synonymously with witty. I suppose the meaning of Atalanta's better part, in As You Like It, is her wit-the swiftness of her mind.
FARMER So, in the prologue to Fletcher's Custom of the Country:
MALONE 68. By thy favour, sweet welkin, Welkin is the sky, to which Armado, with the false dignity of a Spaniard, makes an apology for sighing in its face.
JOHNSON. 71. here's a Costard broken--] i e, a lead. So, in Hycke Scorner: “ I wyll rappe you on the costard with my horne:"!
STEEÒ ENS. 3 73
-no l'envoy ;-] The l'envoy is a term borrowed from the old French poetry. It appeared always at the head of a few concluding verses to each piece, which either served to convey the moral, or to address the poem to some particular person. It was fre. quently adopted by the ancient English writers. --;
So, in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606 :
“ Well said: now to the l’Envoy."-All the "Tragedies of John Bochas, translated by Lidgate, are followed by a L'Envoy.
no salve in the male, sir:-] The old folio reads, no salve in thee male, sir, which, in another folio, is, no salve, in the male, sir. What it can mean
is not easily discovered: if mail for a packet or bag was a word then in use, no salve in the mail may mean, no salve in the mountebank's budget. Or shall we read, no enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy in the vale, sirO, sir, plantain. The matter is not great, but one would wish for some meaning or other. JOHNSON,
Male or mail was a word then in use. Reynard the fox sent Kayward's head in a male, And so, in Tamburlane, or the Scythian Shepherd, 1590 :
Open the males, yet guard the treasure, sure." I believe Dr. Johnson's first explanation to be right.
STEEVENS. The word is also found in Taylor the Water Poet's Works (Character of a Bawd), 1630 :-“ the cloathebag of the counsel, cap-case, fardle, pack, male, of friendly toleration."
MALONE I can scarcely think that Shakspere had so far forgotten his little school learning, as to suppose that the Latin verb salve, and the English substantive, salve, had the same pronunciation; and yet without this, the quibble cannot be preserved.
FARMER. The same quibble occurs in Aristippus, or the Jovial Philosopher, 1630 :
“ Salve, Master Simplicius.
STEEVENS. No salue in the male, sir, may mean,
" I will have none of all the salves you have in the anale :” treating them as a mountebank.