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Perpend my words, O signieur Dew, and mark;-
Cal-li - no Cal - li - no Cal-li - no Cas - to -re me.
mer I b and
The words, as I learn from Mr. Finnegan, master of the school established in London for the education of the Irish poor, mean “ Little girl of my heart for ever and ever.” They have, it is true, no great connection with the poor Frenchman's supplications, nor were they meant to have any. Pistol instead of attending to him, contemptuously hums a song. Boswell.
i-discuss.] This affected word is used by Lily, in his Woman in the Moon, 1597 : “ But first I must discuss this heavenly cloud."
STEEVENS. SIGNIEUR Dew should be a gentleman:] I cannot help thinking, that Shakspeare intended here a stroke at a passage in a famous old book, called The Gentleman's Academie in Hawking, Hunting, and Armorie, written originally by Juliana Barnes, and re-published by Gervase Markham, 1595. The first chapter of the Booke of Armorie is, ** the difference 'twixt Churles and Gentlemen ;” and it ends thus : “ From the offspring of gentle. manly Japhet came Abraham, Moyses, Aaron, and the Prophets; and also the king of the right line of Mary, of whom that only absolute gentleman, Jesus, was borne :-gentleman, by his mother Mary, princesse of coat armor.” FARMER.
-thou diest on point of Fox,] Fox is an old cant word for a sword. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster :
“ I made my father's old fox fly about his ears."
I seyi ch.
Except, O signieur, thou do give to me
Fr. Sol. O, prennez misericorde ! ayez pitié de moy!
Pist. Moy shall not serve, I will have forty moys; For I will fetch thy rim* out at thy throat, In drops of crimson blood.
The same expression occurs in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599 : “ I had a sword, ay the flower of Smithfield for a sword; a right for, i' faith."
Again, in The Life and Death of Captain Thomas Stukeley, 1605: -old hacked swords, foxes, bilbos, and horn-buckles.” Again, in The Devil's Charter, 1607:
6 And by this awful cross upon my blade,
Steevens. 4 For I will fetch thy Rim -] We should read : Or, I will fetch thy ransom out of thy throat.”
WARBURTON. I know not what to do with rim, The measure gives reason to suppose that it stands for some monosyllable; and, besides, ransom is a word not likely to have been corrupted. Johnson.
It appears from Sir Arthur Gorges's translation of Lucan, 1614, that some part of the intestines was anciently called the rim, Lucan, book i. :
“ The slender rimme too weake to part
-parvusque secat vitalia limes. L. 623. “ Parvus limes (says one of the scholiasts) præcordia indicat; membrana illa quæ cor et pulmones a jecore et liene dirimit." I believe it is now called the diaphragm in human creatures, and the skirt or midriff in beasts ; but still, in some places, the rim.
Phil. Holland, in his translation of Pliny's Natural History, several times mentions the rim of the paunch. See book xxviii. ch. ix. p. 321, &c. Again, in Chapman's version of the 14th Iliad :
“ And strook him in his belly's rimme," Steevens. Cole, in his Dictionary, 1678, describes it as the caul in which the bowels are wrapped, MALONE.
Ryno is at this day a vulgar cant expression for money ;ready ryno means ready money. This was probably the expression that Pistol meant to use; and
should suppose ryno, instead of rym, to be the true reading. M. Mason.
I ought to have some kindness fo: this conjecture, as it has
Fr. Sol. Est il impossible d'eschapper la force de ton bras?
Pist. Brass, curs!
suggested itself to me more than once ; and yet I fear it is what Dr. Warburton calls (in a note on Othello) a White Friars' phrase, of Alsatian origin, and consequently much more modern than the age of Shakspeare.
Mr. M. Mason's idea, however, may receive countenance from
heart in sums.
“ Tim. Five thousand drops pay that." Steevens.
SIR W. RAWLINSON. If the pronunciation of the French language be not changed since Shakspeare's time, which is not unlikely, it may be suspected that some other man wrote the French scenes. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson makes a doubt, whether the pronunciation of the French language may not be changed since Shakspeare's time; “ if not (says he), it may be suspected that some other man wrote the French scenes ; ". but this does not appear to be the case, at least in this termination, from the rules of the grammarians, or the practice of the poets, I am certain of the former from the French Alphabeth of De la Mothe, and the Orthoepia Gallica of John Eliot; and of the latter from the rhymes of Marot, Ronsard, and Du Bartas. Connections of this kind were very common. Shakspeare himself assisted Ben Jonson in his Sejanus, as it was originally written ; and Fletcher in his Two Noble Kins. men.
The word moy proves, in my apprehension, decisively, that Shakspeare, or whoever furnished him with his French, (if indeed he was assisted by any one,) was unacquainted with the true pronunciation of that language. Moy he has, in King Richard II. made a rhyme to destroy, so that it is clear that he supposed it was pronounced exactly as it is spelled, as he here supposes bras to be pronounced :
Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat“,
Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez moy.
“ Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?" See also vol. iv. p. 419, n. 3.
The word bras was, without doubt, pronounced, in the last age, by the French, and by the English who understood French, as at present, braw. So, as Dr. Farmer observes to me, in the prologue to The First Day's Entertainment at Rutland House, by Sir W, D'Avenant:
“ And could the walls to such a wideness draw,
“ That all might sit at ease in chaise à bras." Drummond of Hawthornden tells us that Ben Jonson did not understand French. It does not, I own, therefore follow that Shakspeare was also unacquainted with that language ; but I think it is highly probable that that was the case; or at least that his knowledge of it was very slight. Malone.
A question having arisen concerning the pronunciation of the French word bras in the time of Shakspeare, it was observed in a former note that some remarks by the Rev. Mr. Bowle, in another place, had contributed at least to leave the matter open to discussion. That gentleman has certainly offered some evidence from Pasquier, that in the middle of words the s was pronounced where now it is silent; but on the other hand there is positive proof that the contrary practice prevailed in 1.572, when De la Ramée published his French grammar. At page 19, he says : “Premierement nous sommes prodigues en lescripture de s, sans la prononcer comme en maistre, mesler, oster, soustenir.” This writer has expatiated on the difficulty which foreigners have in pronouncing the French language on account of its orthography, and offered a new mode by which it may be avoided. In the course of this specimen he has, fortunately for the present occasion, printed the word bras without the s, (see p. 61,) and thereby supplied the means of deciding the present question, which, after all, was scarcely worth a controversy. Whoever wrote this dialogue was unacquainted with the true pronunciation of the French language, as Mr. Malone has already remarked, and framed Pistol's reply accordingly. In Eliot's Orthoepia Gallica, 1593, 4to. mentioned in Dr. Farmer's note, there is a passage which seems to have escaped the doctor's notice. In page 61, the author directs the sentence vous avez un bras de fer," to be pronounced “ voo-za-ve-zewn bra de fer.” Douce.
LUXURIOUS mountain goat, ] Luxurious means lascivious. So, in Much Ado About Nothing : “ She knows the heat of a luxurious bed." Steevens.
Pist. Say'st thou me so ? is that a ton of moys ? ?
Boy. Escoutez ; Comment estes vous appellé ?
Pist. Master Fer! I'll fer him, and firk him, and ferret him :- discuss the same in French unto him.
Boy. I do not know the French for fer, and ferret, and firk.
- a ton of moes?] Moy is piece of money; whence moi do'r, or moi of gold. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson says that “moi is a piece of money, whence moi d'or, or moi of gold.” But where had the doctor made this discovery? His etymology of moidor is certainly incorrect. Moidore is an English corruption of the Portuguese moeda d'ouro, i. e. money of gold ; but there were no moidores in the time of Shakspeare.
We are therefore still to seek for Pistol's moy. Now a moyos or moy was a measure of corn ; in French muy or muid, Lat
. modius, a bushel. It appears that 27 moys were equal to a last or two tons. To understand this more fully, the curious reader may consult Malyne's Lex Mercatoria, 1622, p. 45, and Roberts's Marchant's Mapp of Commerce, 1638, chap. 272. Douce.
8 – and Firk him,] The word firk is so variously used by the old writers, that it is almost impossible to ascertain its precise meaning. On this occasion it may mean to chastise. So, in RamAlley, or Merry Tricks, 1611 :
nay, I will firk
“ Since midwives bound his noddle."
years she has firk'd
Sir, leave this firk of law, or by this light," &c.