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Hol. Most military fir, falutation.
Moth. They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.“ [TO COSTARD afide.
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 :8 thou art casier swallowed than a flap-dragon. Moth. Peace; the peal begins. ARM. Monsieur, [ To Hol.) are you not letter'd ? Moth. Yes, yes,
he teaches boys the horna book: Whatis a, b, spelt backward with a horn on his head?
Hol. Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
6. They have been at a great feast of languages, and folen the ferah's.] So, in Chrift's Tears over jerusalem, by Thomas Nashe, 1594 : “ The phrase of sermons, as it ought to agree with the fcripture, so heed must be taken, that their whole sermon seem not a banquet of the broken fragments of scripture.' MALONE.
the alms-basket of words!) i. . the refuse of words. The refuse meat of great families was formerly sent to the prisons. So, in The Inner Temple Masque, 1619, by T. Middleton: 6 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 li; 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. Śó, 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 ---honorificabililudinitatibus :) This word, whencefocver it coines, is often mentioned as the longest word known. JOHNSON,
It occurs likewise in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604 :
". His discourse is like the long word honoriscatilitudinitatibus ; a great deal of sound and no fenfe. I meet with it likewise in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599. STEEVENS.
- a flap-dragon. ) A flap-dragon is a small inflammable sube fance, which topers swallow in a glass of wine. See a note on K. Henry IV. P. II. A& II. sc. ult. STEEVENS. Vol. VII.
Moth. Ba, most silly 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 salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit: snip, frap. quick and home; it rejoiceth my intelle&t: 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 ?
. 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 1.
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, 1,
Is not the last and the fifth the same vowel ? Though my corre&ion restores but a poor conundrum, yet if it reftores the poet's meaning, it is the duty of an editor io trace him in his lowest conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean - Oh, 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 Lone don, 1615 :
in the fencing-school • To play a venew.
STEEVINS. A venue, as has already been observed, is not a bout at fencing, but a hit. 16 A sweet touch of wit, (lays Armado, ) So, in The Famous Historie of Captain Thomas Stukely, b. 1. 1603:
for forfeits, and vennyes given, upon a wager," at the vialla bution of your doublet, thirty crowns. MALONE.
Notwithstanding the positiveness with which my sense of the word venue is devied, my quotation fufficiently establishes it; for who ever talked of playing a hit in a fencing school? STEVENS.
a (mart hit.
thy gig. Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about your infamy circúm circa ; * A gig of a cuckold's horn!
Cost. An I had butone penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy ginger-bread: hold, there is the very reinuneration I had of thy master, thou half-penny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an the heavens were so pleased, that thou wert but my bastard! what a joyful father wouldst thou make me! Go to; thou haft it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they say.
Hol. O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem,
Arm. Arts-man, præambula; we will be fingled from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the charge-house top
of the mountain ? HOL. Or, mons, the hill. Arm. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain. Hol. I do, fans question.
ARM. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and affe&ion, to congratulate the princess at her pavilion, in the posteriors of this day; which the rude multis tude call, the afternoon,
- 1 will whip about your infamy circùm circà ; ] The old, copies read - unum cita.
But Moth would certainly mean - - circum circa: i. c. about and about: though it may be deligned he should mistake the terms.
THEOBALD the charge-house -] I suppose, is the free-school.
Hol. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the afternoon: the word is well cull'd, chose; sweet and apt, I do assure
fir, I do assure. Arm. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman; and my familiar, I do assure you, very good friend : For what is inward' between us, let it pass :- I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ;
-I beseech thee, apparel thy head: -and
inward - ) i. e. confidential. So, in King Richard III: " Who is most inward with the noble duke?" STEEVENS. 6 I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy; - I beseech thee, apo parel thy head:) I believe the word not was inadvertently omitted by the transcriber or compositor; and that we should read -1 do beseech thee, remember not thy courtesy -- Armado is boafting of the familiarity with which the king treats him, and intimates ( " but let that pass, ") that when he and his Majesty converse, the king lays aside all state, and makes him wear his hat: “ I do beseech thee, ( will he say to me) remember not thy courtesy; do not observe any ceremony with me; be covered."
“ The putting off the hat at the table (lays Florio in bis Second Frutes, 1591,) is a kind of courtefie or ceremonie rather to be avoided than otherwise."
These words may, however, be addressed by Armado to Holofernes, whom we may suppose to have stood uncovered from refpe& to the Spaniard.
If this was the poet's intention, they ought to be included in a parenthesis. To whomsoever the words are supposed to be addres. sed, the emendation appears to me equally gecellary. It is confirmed by a paslage in A Midsummer-Night's Dream: “ Give me your peif, mounsieur Muflardfeed. Pray you, leave your courtesie, mounfier."
In Hamlet, the prince, when he defires Ofrick to “ put his bon. net to the right usc," begins his address with the same words which Armado uses: but unluckily is interrupted by the courtier, and prevented (as I believe) from ufing the very word which I suppose to have been accidentally omitted here.
“ Ham. I befeech you, remember --
" O, that your face were so full of o's" iuftead of -- were 2.0t fo full, &c. MALONE,
tunate and most serious designs, -and of great import indeed, too;--but let that pass :--for I must tell thee, it will please his grace (by the world) fometime to lean upon my poor shoulder; and with his royal finger, thus, dally with my excrement,? with my mustachio: but sweet heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no fable; some certain fpécial honours it pleaseth his greatness to in part to Armado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen the world: but let that pass.-The very all of all is,---but, sweet heart, I do implore secrecy,--that the king would have me present the princess, sweet chuck,' with some delightful oftentation, or show, or pageant, or antick, or fire-work. Now, understanding that the curate, and your sweet felf, are good at such eruptions, and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to crave your
allistance. Hol. Sir, you shall present before her the nine worthies.-Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some show in the posterior of this day, to be render'd by our assistance,--the king's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman.-before the princess; I say, none so fit as to present the nine worthies.
Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?
By " remember thy courtefy" I suppose Armado means-remenber that all this time thou art fanding with thy hat of. STEEVENS.
dally with my excrement,] The author calls the beard valour's excrement in The Merchant of Venice. JOHNS
chuck,] i. e, chicken; an ancient term of endearment. So, in Macbeth: " Be jonocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck --"