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eye or so“, but not to the purpose.-Signior Romeo, bon jour! there's a French salutation to your French flops. You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night.
Rom. Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you? Mer. The Nip, fir, the fip; Can you not conceive?
4 Tbisbé a grey eye or so,] He means to allow that Thilbé had a very fine eye; for from various passages it appears that a grey eye was in our authour's time thought eminently beautiful. This may seem Atrange to those who are not conversant with ancient phraseology; but a grey eye undoubtedly meant what we now denominate a blue eye. Thus, in Venus and Adonis :
“ Her two blue windows faintly the upheaveth," i. e. the windows or lids of her blue eyes. In the very same poem the gyes of Venus are termed grey :
“ Mine eyes are grey and bright, and quick in turning." Again, in Cymbeline :
“ To Tee the inclosed lights, now canopy'd
" With blue of heaven's own tinct." In Twelftb Nigbe, Olivia fays, “I will give out divers schedules of my beauty ;-as item, two lips, indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to them,” &c. So Julia, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, speaking of her rival's eyes, as eminently beautiful, says,
“ Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine." And Chaucer has the same comparison :
" -hire eyes gray as glas.” : This comparison proves decitively what I have asserted; for clear and transparent glass is not what we now call grey, but blue, or azure.
MALONE. 5 -- your Freneb pop.] Slops are large loose breecbes or trowsers, wora at present only by Tailors. STEEVENS.
See Vol. II. n. 376, n. 9. MALONE. 6 -Wbat counterfeit, &c.
Mer. The Nip, Air, ibe nip;] To understand this play upon the words counterfeit and Nip, it should be observed that in our author's time there was a counterfeit piece of money distinguished by the name of a sip. This will appear in the following instances : “ And therefore he went and got him certain nips, which are counterfeit pieces of money, being brafie, and covered over with filver, which the com. mon people call lipse" Tbieves falling out, true men come by tbeir goods; by Robert Greene. Again: I had like I have been
Rom. Pardon, good Mercutio, my bufiness was great ; and, in such a case as mine, a man may strain courtesy.
Mer. That's as much as to say—such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams,
Rom. Meaning-to court'sy.
Mer. Well said 8 : follow me this jest now, till thou haft worn out thy pump; that, when the single sole of it is worn, the jeit may remain, after the wearing, folely fingular,
Rom. O single-soled jeft', solely fingular for the singleness!
“ Abus'd i'the business, had the hip surr’d on me;
“ A counterfeir." Magnetick Lady, A. III. S. vi. REED. Tbe Dip is again uled equivocally in No Wir like a Woman's, a come. dy, by Middleton, 1657: “ Clown. Because you shall be sure on't you have given me a nine-perce here, and I'll give you be hip for it." [Exił. MALONE.
? -ben is my pump well flower'd.) Here is a vein of wit too thia to be easily found. The fundamental idea is, that Romeo wore pinked pumps, that is, punched with holes in figures. JOHNSON.
See the moes of the morris-dancers in the plate at the conclusion of the first part of K. Henry IV. with Mr. Tollet's remarks annexed to it.
It was the custom to wear ribbons in the shoes formed into the shape of roses, or of any other Aowers. So, in the Masque by the gent. of Gray's- Inn, 1614: “ Every masker's pump was fastend with a flower suitable to his cap." STEIVENS.
s Well said:] So the original copy. The quarto of 1599, and the other ancient copies, have-Sure wit, follow, &c. What was meant, I fuppose, was - Sbeer wit! follow, &c. and this corruption may ferve to justify an emendation that I have proposed in a passage in Antony and Cleopatra, where I am confident sure was a printer's blunder.' See Vol. VII. p. 483, n. 5. Malone.
90 single-foled ješ,) This epithet is here used çquivocally. It formerly signified mean or contemptible; and that is one of the senses in which it is used here. So, in Holinthed's Description of Ireland, p. 23 :-" which was not unlikely, considering that a meane tower might serve such fingle-foole kings as were at those daies in Ireland.”
Mer. Come between us, good Benvolio ; my wits fail.
Rem. Switch and spurs, iwitch and spurs; or I'll cry a match.
Mer. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have done ; for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits, than, I am sure, I have in my whole five: Was Í with you there for the goose?
Rom. Thou wast never with me for any thing, when thou wast not there for the goose.
Mer. I will bite thee by the ear' for that jest.
Mer. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting }; it is a most sharp fauce.
Rem. And is it not well served in to a sweet goose ?
Mer. O, here's a wit of cheverel“, that stretches from an inch narrow to an eil broad !
Rom. I stretch it out for that word-broad: which added to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.
Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love ? now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by art
as well as by
1 I will bite thee by the ear-) So Sir Epicure Mammon to Face in Jonson's Alcbymir:
“ Slave, I could biterbine ear." STEEVENS. 2-good goose, bite nor.) is a proverbial expression, to be found in Ray's Collection; and is used in Tue Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599. STEEVENS.
-a very bitter sweeting ;) A bieter (weering, is an apple of that name. So, in Summer's last Will and Testament, 1600:
-as well crabs as sweetings for his summer fruits.” Again, in Fair Em, 1631:
“ — whai, in diipleasure gone!
" And let me such a bitter (cveet to gnaw upon ?" STIEV. 4 - wit of cheverel,] Cbeverel is loft leather for gloves. JOHN s. So, in the Two Maids of More-clack', 1609:
“ Drawing on love's white hand a glove of warmth,
“ Not ebeveril stretching to such prophanation.” Again, in Tbe Owl, by Drayton :
"'A cheverell conscience, and a searching wit.” STIEVENS. Cboveril is from Chevreuil, roebuck. MUSGRAVE.
nature: for this driveling love is like a great natural, that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a holes.
Ben. Stop there, stop there.
Mer. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair,
Ben. Thou would'ft else have made thy tale large.
Mer. O, thou art deceived, I would have made it short: for I was come to the whole depth of my tale: and meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer ?. Rom. Here's goodly geer!
Enter Nurse, and Peter.
Mer. Prythee, do, good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer of the two.
5-o bide bis bauble in a bole.] It has been already observed by Sir 7. Hawkins, in a note on. All's Will, &c. that a bauble was one of the accoutrements of a licenled fool or jefter. So again, in Sir W. D'Ave. nant's Albovine, 1629 : “ For such rich widows there love court fools, and use to play with their baubles."
See the plate at the end of K. Henry IV. P. I. with Mr. Tollet's ob. fervations on it. STEEVENS.
• against tbe bair.} A contrepoil: Fr. An expression equivalent to one which we now use," against the grain." STEEVENS.
?-o occupy obe argument no longer.] Here we have another wan. ton allufion. See Vol. V. p. 331, n. 5. MALONE.
8 Mer. A jail, a fail, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1597. In the subse. quent ancient copies thele words are erroneoully given to Romeo.
MALONI. 9 My fan, Peter.] The business of Peter carrying the Nurje’e fan, seems ridiculous according to modern manners; but I find such was formerly the practice. In an old pamphlet, called “ Tbe Servingman's Comfort," 1598, we are informed, “ The miftress must have one to carry her cloake and hood, another her fanne." FARMER. Again, in Love's Labour's Loft:
To see him walk before a lady, and to bear a fan. Again, in Every Man out of bis Humour : " If any lady, &c. wants an upright gentleman in the nature of a gentleman-uther, &c. who can hide his face with her fan,'' &c. STIEVENS,
Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.
Mer. Tis no less, I tell you ; for the bawdy hand of the dial? is now upon the prick of noon.
Nurse. Out upon you ! what a man are you? Rom. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made himself to mar.
Nurse. By my troth, it is well said ;--For himself to mar, quoth’a !--Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I may find the young Romeo ? Rom. I can tell you ; but young Romeo will be older
have found him, than he was when you sought him: 'I am the youngest of that name, for 'fault of a worse.
Nurse. You say well. Mer. Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i'faith; wisely, wisely.
Nurse. If you be he, fir, I desire some confidence with you.
Ben, She will indite him to some supper.
Mer. No hare, fir}; unless a hare, fir, in a lenten pye, that is something ftale and hoar ere it be spent.
I God ye good den,] i. e. God give you a good even. The first of these contractions is common among the ancient comic writers. So, in R. Biome's Norsbern Lafs, 1633:
“ God you good even, fir." STELVENS. 2 --the band of ebe dial-) In the Puritan Widow, 1607, which has been attributed to our author, is a similar expression : "the fefe kewe of the diall is upon the chrifle-croise of noon." STEEVENS.
3 N. bare, fir ;] Mercutio having roared out, Sn, bo! the cry of the sportsmen when they start a hare, Romeo asks w bar be bas found. And Mercutio answers, N, bare, &c. The rest is a series of quibbles unworthy of explanation, which he who does not understand, needs not lament his ignorance. JOHNSON.
So bo! is the term made ule of in the field when the hare is found in her feat, and not when he is farted. A.C.